A New Liquid-Vapor Phase Transition Technique for the Level Set Method

Nathaniel Morgan, Georgia Institute of Technology

The level set method offers a simple and robust approach to modeling liquid-vapor interfaces that arise in boiling and condensing flows. The current liquid-vapor phase-transition techniques used with the level set method are not able to account for different thermal conductivities and specific heats in each respective phase, nor are they able to accurately account for latent heat absorption and release. This talk presents a new level set based technique for liquid-vapor phase-transition that accounts for different material properties in each respective phase, such as thermal conductivity and specific heat, while maintaining the interface at the saturation temperature. The phase-transition technique is built on the ghost fluid framework coupled with the standard level set method. A new technique is presented for constructing ghost nodes that implicitly captures the immersed boundary conditions and is second order accurate. The method is tested against analytical solutions, and it is used to model film boiling. The new phase-transition technique will greatly assist efforts to accurately capture the physics of boiling and condensing flows.


In addition to presenting a new phase transition technique, a coupled level set volume of fluid advection scheme is developed for phase transition flows. The new scheme resolves the mass loss problem associated with the level set method, and the method provides an easy way to accurately calculate the curvature of an interface, which can be difficult with the volume of fluid method. A film boiling simulation is performed to illustrate the superior performance of the coupled level set volume of fluid approach over the level set method and the volume of fluid method.

Abstract Author(s): Nathaniel Morgan, Marc Smith, and John Dolbow