An implicit surface tension model


A new implicit model for surface tension at a two-fluid interface is proposed for use in computational models of flows with free surfaces and its performance is compared to an existing explicit model. The new model is based on an evolution equation for surface curvature that includes the influence of advection as well as surface tension. A detailed development of the new model is presented as are the details of the computational implementation. The performance of the new model is compared to an existing explicit model by using both models to predict the surface dynamics of several twodimensional configurations. It is concluded that the new implicit surface tension model does perform better for configurations with a large surface tension coefficient. It is shown that, for several cases, the time step size is no longer limited by surface tension stability considerations (as it was using the explicit model), but rather by other limitations inherent in the existing volume advection algorithm. Surprisingly, the comparison testing presented herein also shows that the existing explicit model did a credible job of predicting surface shapes using time step sizes that significantly exceed the stability criterion of that model.

Publication Title

34th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit

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