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Research Article

Complex bubble deformation and break-up dynamics studies using interface capturing approach

Yuqiao Fan1Jun Fang2Igor Bolotnov1( )
Department of Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Nuclear Science and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL 60439, USA
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An erratum to this article is available online at:


The dynamics of bubble deformation has significant impacts on two-phase flow fundamentals such as bubble induced turbulence and flow regime transition. Despite the significant progress achieved by experimental studies on bubble deformation, certain limitations still exist especially for wide-range datasets. To significantly expand the flow conditions available from experiments, direct numerical simulation (DNS) is utilized to study the bubble-liquid interactions using finite- element solver with level-set interface capturing method. Different from conventional investigations of bubble rising and deforming in stagnant liquids, a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) bubble controller is leveraged to maintain the bubble location in uniform liquid flow. This paper evaluates the reliability and reproducibility of the PID bubble controller for complex bubble deformation studies through a comprehensive set of verification and validation studies. An improved bubble deformation map is developed, based on Weber number and bubble Reynolds number, showing six zones for different deformation and break-up mechanisms. This research aims at producing virtual experiment level data source using interface resolved DNS and shedding light into the physics of interface dynamics. The insights obtained can be further incorporated in improved multiphase CFD models to guide the engineering designs and industrial processes where bubble deformation and break-up play a pivotal role.


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Experimental and Computational Multiphase Flow
Pages 139-151
Cite this article:
Fan Y, Fang J, Bolotnov I. Complex bubble deformation and break-up dynamics studies using interface capturing approach. Experimental and Computational Multiphase Flow, 2021, 3(3): 139-151.






Web of Science




Received: 29 February 2020
Revised: 22 April 2020
Accepted: 25 April 2020
Published: 18 July 2020
© Tsinghua University Press 2020