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Finite element setting for fluid flow simulations with natural enforcement of the triple junction equilibrium

Abstract : Capillary phenomena are involved in many industrial processes, especially those dealing with composite manufacturing. However, their modelling is still challenging. Therefore, a finite element setting is proposed to better investigate this complex issue. The variational formulation of a liquid-air Stokes' system is established, while the solid substrate is described through boundary conditions. Expressing the weak form of Laplace's law over liquid-air, liquid-solid and air-solid interfaces, leads to a natural enforcement of the mechanical equilibrium over the wetting line, without imposing explicitly the contact angle itself. The mechanical problem is discretised by using finite elements, linear both in velocity and pressure, stabilised with a variational multiscale method, including the possibility of enrichment of the pressure space. The moving interface is captured by a Level-Set methodology, combined with a mesh adaptation technique with respect to both pressure and level-set fields. Our methodology can simulate capillary-driven flows in 2D and 3D with the desired precision: droplet spreading, droplet coalescence, capillary rise. In each case, the equilibrium state expected in terms of velocity, pressure and contact angle is reached. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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J. Bruchon, Y. Liu, N. Moulin. Finite element setting for fluid flow simulations with natural enforcement of the triple junction equilibrium. Computers and Fluids, Elsevier, 2018, 171, pp.103-121. ⟨10.1016/j.compfluid.2018.06.007⟩. ⟨emse-02016055⟩



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