Simple mechanistically consistent formulation for volume-of-fluid based computations of condensing flows

Alexander S. Rattner, Srinivas Garimella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Numerous investigations have been conducted to extend adiabatic liquid-gas volume-of-fluid (VOF) flow solvers to include condensation phenomena by adding an energy equation and phase-change source terms. Some proposed phase-change models employ empirical rate parameters, or adapt heat-transfer correlations, and thus must be tuned for specific applications. Generally applicable models have also been developed that rigorously resolve the phase-change process, but require interface reconstruction, significantly increasing computational cost, and software complexity. In the present work, a simplified first-principles- based condensation model is developed, which forces interface-containing mesh cells to the equilibrium state. The operation on cells instead of complex interface surfaces enables the use of fast graph algorithms without reconstruction. The model is validated for horizontal film condensation, and converges to exact solutions with increasing mesh resolution. Agreement with established results is demonstrated for smooth and wavy falling-film condensation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number071501
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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