A volume-of-fluid formulation for the study of co-flowing fluids governed by the Hele-Shaw equations

Shahriar Afkhami, Yuriko Renardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We present a computational framework to address the flow of two immiscible viscous liquids which co-flow into a shallow rectangular container at one side, and flow out into a holding container at the opposite side. Assumptions based on the shallow depth of the domain are used to reduce the governing equations to one of Hele-Shaw type. The distinctive feature of the numerical method is the accurate modeling of the capillary effects. A continuum approach coupled with a volume-of-fluid formulation for computing the interface motion and for modeling the interfacial tension in Hele-Shaw flows is formulated and implemented. The interface is reconstructed with a height-function algorithm. The combination of these algorithms is a novel development for the investigation of Hele-Shaw flows. The order of accuracy and convergence properties of the method are discussed with benchmark simulations. A microfluidic flow of a ribbon of fluid which co-flows with a second liquid is simulated. We show that for small capillary numbers of O(0.01), there is an abrupt change in interface curvature and focusing occurs close to the exit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number082001
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 26 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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