Finite particle methods for computing interfacial curvature in volume of fluid simulations

Everett A. Wenzel, Sean C. Garrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The volume of fluid (VOF) method is a useful tool for multiphase flow simulation. However, smallscale interfacial structures introduce significant computational challenges. One difficulty is determining interface curvature at low resolutions-a requirement in turbulent spray simulation. In this work we evaluate two finite particle schemes for computing curvature of poorly resolved interfaces in the context of VOF simulations. Curvature is computed from the convolved VOF in the first scheme and directly from the VOF in the second scheme. Both cell-centered and interface-centered calculations are considered in the first scheme, while only cell-centered calculations are considered in the second scheme. The methods are evaluated via the L2 and L error norms corresponding to the curvature of spheres. Results yield L2 errors less than 1% and L errors less than 3% for nearly all resolutions considered. Additionally, a hybrid implementation of the first scheme demonstrates greater accuracy than a contemporary variant of the height function method for resolutions relevant to spray simulations. The results suggest the finite particle method to be a valuable tool for computing interfacial curvature in flows with a poorly resolved dispersed phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-160
Number of pages20
JournalAtomization and Sprays
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018


  • Atomization simulation
  • Curvature
  • Finite particle method
  • Volume of fluid


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