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FluidFlowSimulator August 7, 2011 07:00

Discretising: VOF versus FVM
What is the difference between the Volume of fluid method (VOF) and the finite volume method (FVM)?
Are this different methods for discretising partial differential equations or are they synonyms?

I know ANSYS FIDAP, ANSYS FLUENT and FlowScience FLOW-3D use VOF, but is this the same as the FVM?
Which software makes use of FVM?

Thanks in advance!

leflix August 7, 2011 11:48

There are no links between VOF and FVM. VOF method is a front capturing method designed for multiphase (liquid-liquid or gas-liquid) flows. It has been invented by Hirt and Nichols (JCP, 39, 201, 1981). Other methods based on the same spirit are Level set, one fluid model...
FVM is a discretization method to solve partial derivative equations like FDM (finite difference method), FEM (finite element method), or spectral methods.

The both can be used together VOF + FVM.
Fluent has a VOF module and uses FVM method too.
Most of commercial codes use FVM because of the propensity of this method for respecting fluid mechanic conservation laws compared to FDM or FEM and because also for its ability to deal with complex geometries.

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