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INVESTIGATION OF VOLUME OF FLUID

METHOD IN WATER PLUNGING JET


CONFIGURATION
AMINE BOUALOUACHE, F. ZIDOUNI, A. MATAOUI
AMINE BOUALOUACHE1- F. ZIDOUNI2- A. MATAOUI2
1
Department of Mechanical engineering, Faculty of technology, University of A. Mira, Bejaia, Algeria. E-mail:
boualouache-a@live.f
2
Laboratory of Theoretical and Applied Fluid Mechanics, Faculty of Physics, University of Science and Technology
Houari Boumediene - USTHB, Algiers, Algeria.
E-mail: zidounifaiza@yahoo.fr

ABSTRACT
A plunging liquid jet is defined as a moving column of liquid passing through a gaseous headspace before
impinging a free surface of receiving liquid tank. The mechanism of air entrainment due to plunging liquid jets is
very complex and the complete mechanism of air entrainment is not fully understood so far.
The aim of the current study is investigating the applicability and accuracy of the VOF model within a CFD two
phase flow to predict air entrainment by vertical water jet plunging a quiet pool. The model is a fixed grid
technique designed for two or more immiscible fluids where the position of the interface of most interest.
It was found that the volume of fluid (VOF) method predict well the flow pattern. A large plume around the jet
impinging point is also well predicted. Qualitatively, the model matches well the air entrainment rate below the
free surface comparing to the experimental results found in literature. We discussed below all parameters in
relation with entrainment rate (penetration depth, radial distribution of air volume fraction and air plume form).
Keywords- Air bubble entrainment -plunging water jet- VOF-CFD.

INTRODUCTION
Multiphase flows are widely encountered in various fields of science and industry. In chemical engineering
applications, bubbly flows are used to improve mixing processes such as the aeration of fluids. For nuclear safety
issues reliable predictions of accident scenarios in reactors include complex steam-water flows. The medical
research studies two-phase flows occurring in cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Therefore, a better
understanding of the physics involved in multiphase flows is of great scientific interest.
The water plunging jet is an important example of multiphase flows where the air entrainment phenomenon
occurs. Generally, air entrainment could be seen as the consequence of two complementary mechanisms: the
first one, the interfacial shear along the liquid jet interface, which drags down an air boundary layer. And second
one, is the air entrapment process at the impinging point of the plunging jet with the receiving pool; the air
entrained goes deeper and forms an air plume below the water level. Numerous investigations have been carried
out so far to understand the mechanisms related to the air entrainment by plunging jet, Roy (2013); Harby (2014).
An approach able to describe the phenomenon taking into account all the parameters that govern the stability
of a jet (free surface instabilities, the turbulence, velocity profile etc) seems still insufficient. Most of the achieved
results are based on empirical and semi-empirical models.
Several researchers like: Bin (1993); Bonetto and Lahey (1993); Cumming and Chanson (1997); Lucas (2008),
Highlighted the lack of information on the air comportment in the vicinity of the impinging point and on the
entrained bubble size distributions. Furthermore, physical models of plunging jet flows, remain a subject of some
scaling effects which have not properly explained by, Wood (1991); Chanson (2004). With the increase of the
available computers power in the last decade, several numerical models have been developed to contribute for
the best understanding of multiphase flows. The Volume of Fluid model is one of these models, which has
successfully resolved a lot of problems. We have found a lot of examples, as the simulation of the drop breakup
phenomenon by Renardy (2008), the bubble motion by Annaland (2005). Where the interface reconstruction
technique based on piecewise linear interface representation and a 3D version of the CSF model of Brackbill
(1992) are used for a good prediction of bubble coalescence and shapes. The solution of wave impact problems
by Kleefsman (2005), the numerical study of primary and impinging jet atomizations by Fuster et al (2009), Tomar
et al (2010), and Chen et al(2013).
The interface between the two fluids is reconstructed by the implementation of consistent model like piece wise
linear construction (PLIC) algorithm, that is checked in the present study. It is used successively for large velocity
hydrodynamic calculations by a host of re-searchers. The progress is currently being made by the authors Rider
and al (1995), Kothe and al (1998), Puckette and al (1991). Toward applying PLIC to incompressible multiphase
flows.
The present paper is devoted to study air entrainment by water plunging jet using PLIC-VOF method. The
governing equations in three-dimensional coordinates system, are solved using the commercial CFD code ANSYS
14.0. The main objectives are to investigate the applicability and the accuracy of this method in such
configuration especially in the air entrainment estimation and the radial distribution of air volume fraction. The
results are compared the experimental data of Chanson (2004).

MATHEMATICAL MODELING
2.1. Volume of Fluid Model
VOF method is designed for separated or free-surface flows. The volume fraction of each fluid in the
computational cells is tracked throughout the entire computational domain. In addition to the velocity and
pressure, the volume fraction depends on the flow field; it appears in both mass and momentum equations.
These variables are shared by the two phases and correspond to volume-averaged values as describe in equations
3, 5 and 6.
Time evolution of the interface between these two immiscible fluids is followed in the computational domain
using PLIC model (piecewise linear interface calculation) to track sharp interfaces without large numerical
diffusion.
The momentum equation for computational domain in its generalized form could be written in the x direction
as:
div u  0 (1)
u
 div u   grad ( p )  div   grad (u )    g  Fsv (2)
t
Where, g and p are the gravity acceleration and pressure, respectively. The volume fraction α of the primary
phase, (water in our case) has the following form:

 u div( )  0 (3)
t
Whereas  air is air volume fraction defined:
 air  1   (4)
In each control volume, the volume fraction of all phases sum to unity.
The proprieties appearing in the transport equation namely density  and the viscosity µ of the mixture are
defined by a linear weighing of both water and air density and viscosity respectively, are deduced from eqs 5 and
6:
  air (1   )   w (5)
  air (1   )  w (6)
The treatment of the surface tension force FSV as a singularity within a cell, generates numerical problems related
with the pressure value at the interface boundary. In order to avoid this problem, Brackbill (1992), have
developed a method referred to the continuum surface force (CSF) method. It replaces the requiring to know
the exact location of the free surface by converting the surface tension into an equivalent volume force, which
is added to the Navier-stockes equations as an additional body force. This force has smoothed properties and
acts only in a finite transition region across the interface, which contains the interfacial and their immediate
neighboring cells. It is determined by the following expression:
w
Fsv   ki  (7)
1
 air  w 
2
Where  and ki are defined as the gradient and the curvature of the ith phase on surface, respectively
(i=water, air);  is the free surface tension, ki the surface curvature and  , determined by:

k i  n and n  (8)


NUMERICAL PROCEDURE
3.1. Geometry and Grid

Author d (cm) h (cm) D (cm) H(cm) Uin (m/s) kin(%)

Chanson 0.25 10 30 180 4.1 0.5


Table 1. Modeling parameters for simulated experiments
Figure (1) shows a schematic of the experimental apparatus referring to the experiments carried out by Chanson
(2004). The three dimensional geometry is set using, a section of 90° and meshed non-uniformly by quadrilateral
mesh scheme. A clustering was made towards the centerline of the water jet direction. Grid contraction toward
the free surface was required for capturing the air and liquid flows, and the deformation of the gas-liquid
interface. Table (1) shows dimensions of shows geometry dimensions and principle modeling parameters

Figure 1: Computational grid arrangement and boundary conditions.

3.2. Boundary conditions


All boundary conditions of the present flow configuration are reported in Figure 1. A uniform velocity profile is
considered at the nozzle inlet. At the walls, no slip conditions for the fluids were applied. The upper section of
the domain is modeled as an opening boundary condition with a relative pressure of 0 Pa, where as the outflow
is set at the lateral section of the tank assuming pressure outlet boundary condition. As the computational
domain is reduced, a symmetry boundary condition is consequently used at symmetry planes. The initial flow
conditions are set for the water level.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


Bubbles penetration Depth
This model exhibits an air entrainment, which is driven deeper in the pool. VOF explicit the interface by
reconstructing it over each cell. In this case the phases are not interpenetrating. This is illustrated in (fig 2).
The penetration depth Hp is the vertical extension of the gas plume below the water level. Many authors
suggested purely empirical relationships (Bin 1983, Bonsignore et al 1985; Mckeogh and ervine 1981; Van de
Donk (1981);Van de Sande and Smith1974) and the simplest of these which is suitable to our configuration of
Chanson(2004) is:

H p
 C U 0nd p (7)
It’s available for U0 d ≥ 0.01m2 s −1 n=p=0.66 and C is a constant C=2.4

Figure 2. Developed plume under the water level Reconstructed VOF


The table (2) shows that, the penetration depth with volume of fluid calculations exceeds the theoretical and the
experimental values. In this case the buoyancy effect should modeled properly.
Methods Penetration Depth (cm)
Empirical Relation 54
VOF 78
Table 2. Penetration depth of Air bubbles with empirical relation and simulations methods

Entrainment ratio
The air flow rate corresponds to the total downward air flux at a certain level below the surface is given by:
 
Q   q dS (8)
G G

Where S is the horizontal cross-section of the domain at a certain level below the surface. the total upward flux

Q G

is calculated in the same way.


The entrainment rate is the ratio of the gas flux entrained below the water by the impinging jet, the entrainment
rate is calculated according to the correlations suggested by Bin (1993) and Van de Donk (1981).
In Table (3) a comparison between air entrainment ratio given by simulation(VOF), experience and correlations
show a good agreement of VOF method in three dimensions and the other methods (experimental and
correlations)

correlations Experience Simulation


Van de Donk Bin Chanson VOF
Qg / Ql  0.09( L j / d 0 ) 0.65
Qg / Ql  0.04Fr 0.28 ( L j / d 0 ) 0.4
0.178 0.220
𝑸𝑮 0.221 0.126
⁄𝑸
𝒍

Table 3. Summary results for air entrainment ratio in the used test cases
Time evolution of air volume fraction distribution
0,00

0,05

0,10
air

0,15

0,20

VOF t=3,0s
0,25 VOF t=4,0s
VOF t=5,0s
VOF t=6,0s
0,30
0,5 1,0 1,5 2,0
y/r1
Figure (3). Radial distribution of air volume fraction at different time steps.

Figure (3) shows that the three scale models exhibit an air entrainment. The radial distribution of the air volume
fraction has a pulsatile character and the simulation results are time dependent. The comparison with the
experience is done within the averaged values over time from the steady state to the end of the simulation. The
steady state is reached after 4 seconds simulation when the plume attains its full size.
The bubbles have discrete distribution within the plume and are not azimuthally symmetric. Consequently, an
average over space is needed to smooth the air volume fraction distribution over a small section, corresponding
to the radial location of the measurement. The averaging in space is done by space monitoring in the present
CFD code (ANSYS 14.0).
The double average over time and space is done according to the following equation:

  (r,t)ds dt
 s ,t
(9)
 ds dt
s ,t

Where ds is the annular section at radial position r within the width of 1mm.
In the experimental apparatus, the data recording is performed by single-tip conductivity probes associated to
KanomaxTM analog integrator for data processing (Chanson, 2004). The measurements are estimated around 10
to 30% of precision.

Radial distribution of Air volume fraction


Figure 4 shows typical void fraction distributions at three locations below the impingement point for one set of
flow conditions. The void fraction data are plotted as functions of the radial distance normal to the jet centerline.
This radial distance is normalized by the jet radius at the free surface
We can see the good agreement of the radial distribution of the air volume fraction with the experimental
measurements.
0.0 0.0 0.0

0.1 0.1 0.1


Z1=1,79cm
Z2=1,73cm Z3=1,69m
g

0.2 0.2 0.2

Chanson
VOF

0.3 0.3 0.3


0 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 3 4
y/r1 y/r1 y/r1
Figure 4 . Air volume fraction distribution (α) same initial conditions (x1/d0=0.4, Fr=8.5)-Comparison between
VOF method, Euler-Euler method and Chanson experience (2004), (x-x1)/d1=1.6 ; (x-x1)/d1=2.5 ; (x-x1)/d1=4.1.

CONCLUSIONS
Numerical simulation of water plunging jet through a circular pipe is carried out using CFD code FLUENT based
on the Volume of Fluid method (VOF). The interface reconstruction is performed according to PLIC algorithm.
Chanson experimental results are used to check the capability of the numerical model, to reproduce both
qualitatively and quantitatively the air entrainment and plume shape development.
The results show qualitatively an accurate air entrainment and bubble dispersion in the developing flow region
of vertical circular plunging jets, since the plume formed under the impinging region is of comparable size to that
obtained by the experiment.
As the jet plunges the receiving tank, it forms an air film around the impact region. This film is then degenerated
to small bubbles, which are advected by the jet flow deeper in the tank. Those bubbles rise by buoyancy effect
to form a plume having a balloon shape.
The attenuation of the maximum air volume fraction at different depth location is exponentially decreased in
the experiments. Contrariwise, it is slightly appeared in the numerical simulation. In fact, the VOF model
considers a null slip velocity between the two phases.
Nomenclature
D tank diameter [m]
d jet diameter [m]
d1 jet diameter at the impinging point [m]
h distance from the jet exit to the tank free surface [m]
z axial coordinate [m]
u Axial mean velocity [m/s]
U Velocity components [m/s]
U0 Initial velocity [m/s]
g acceleration due to gravity [m/s²]
Ki surface curvature [-]
l turbulent length scale [m]
Q Masse flow rate [kg/s]
α Volume Fraction [-]
σ Interfacial tension [kgm²/s²]
μ Viscosity [kg/ms]
ρ Density [kg/m3]
p fluid pressure [kg m/s²]
Fr Froude Number Fr=Uz /√𝑔𝑑 [-]
Subscripts
air air flow
w water flow

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