Direct numerical simulation of turbulent bubbly down flow using an efficient CLSVOF method

Hassan Nemati, Wim Paul Breugem, Marcel Kwakkel, Bendiks Jan Boersma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We use direct numerical simulations (DNS) to investigate the turbulent modulation due to the presence of bubbles in vertical channels flowing downward. The Reynolds number for single-phase flow based on half channel height h* and friction velocity is Reτ= 180. A density and viscosity ratio of ρd*c*=0.01 and μd*c*=0.018 is chosen for two void fractions of ϵ=1.2% and ϵ=2.4%. For each void fraction three different bubble sizes are simulated: D/h=0.2130, 0.2684 and 0.3382, where D denotes the diameter of the bubbles. Numerical simulations are based on multiple markers Coupled Level-Set/Volume-of-Fluid (CLSVOF) method. To improve the efficiency of this method, a fast pressure-correction method is used in order to enable the simulation to exploit a constant coefficient Poisson equation which can be solved with FFT-based technique. Extensive verification and validation were performed and perfect accuracy and agreement are obtained. In all the simulations performed in this work, the new Poisson solver showed a minimum speedup of 22 times. Accumulation of bubbles in the core region of the channel for all cases is observed, which forms a bubble-free layer in the near-wall region. The presence of bubbles resulted in considerable modification in the mean velocity profile compared to single-phase flow. Another common observation is that all the components of velocity fluctuations in the near-wall region decrease with increasing void fraction and decreasing wall layer thickness. The opposite happens in the core region, where the presence of bubbles favours turbulence. With respect to the bubble size, the wall-normal and spanwise velocity fluctuations decrease in the near-wall region for smaller bubbles, however, the streamwise velocity fluctuations remained almost unaffected. The investigation of turbulent kinetic budgets shows that, unlike single-phase flow, the dissipation terms rises to large values in the core region of the channel. This behaviour is referred to the presence of bubbles and hence enhancement of turbulent kinetic energy in the core region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103500
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Level-set
  • Turbulent bubbly flow
  • Volume-of-fluid


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