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Modeling Multiphase Flow

Multiphase flow is a term which refers to the flow and interaction of several phases within the
same system where distinct interfaces exist between the phases. The term ‘phase’ usually refers
to the thermodynamic state of the matter: solid, liquid, or gas. In modeling terms, a phase is
defined in broader terms, and can be defined as a quantity of matter within a system that has its
own physical properties to distinguish it from other phases within the system. For example:
Liquids of different density
Bubbles of different size
Particles of different shape
Multiphase flows are different from multi-component flows. In multi-component flows, the
different species are mixed at the molecular level. These species have the same convection
velocity. In multiphase flows, the different phases are mixed at the macroscopic scale. These
phases have different convection velocity. Many flows are multiphase multi-component flows.

Multiphase flows can be classified into two categories:


1. Dispersed flows, such as bubbly, droplet, and particle flows
2. Stratified flows, such as free surface flows, or annular film flow in pipes.
The Multiphase Segregated Flow model: this model is commonly known as the Eulerian
Multiphase model in the literature, but that term has been given a wider significance in STAR-
CCM+. The Multiphase Segregated Fluid model solves conservation equations for mass,
momentum, and energy for each phase. Phase interaction models are provided to define the
influence that one phase exerts upon another across the interfacial area between them.
The Lagrangian Multiphase model: this model solves the equation of motion for representative
parcels of the dispersed phase as they pass through the system. It is intended for systems that
consist mainly of a single continuous phase carrying a relatively small volume of discrete
particles, droplets, or bubbles. It is suited where the interaction of the discrete phase with
physical boundaries is important.
The Dispersed Multiphase Model (DMP): this model simulates dispersed phases in a Eulerian
manner. The Dispersed Multiphase model combines aspects of both the Lagrangian Multiphase
(LMP) model and the Segregated (Eulerian) Multiphase (EMP) models.
The Discrete Element Model (DEM): this model is an extension of the Lagrangian Multiphase
model, but where individual particles are modeled rather than representative parcels, and where
inter-particle contact forces are explicitly accounted for.
The Fluid Film model: this model predicts the dynamic characteristics of wall films using
boundary layer approximations and assumed velocity and temperature profiles across the depth
of the film. Film transport is predicted using thin shells that lie across the surface of solid walls
on which the film is formed.
The Volume of Fluid (VOF) model: this model is provided for systems containing two or more
immiscible fluid phases, where each phase constitutes a large structure within the system (such
as typical free surface flows). This approach captures the movement of the interface between the
fluid phases, and is often used for marine applications.