2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 8, 2015 1:14 PM by Michael Kalin

    Multifluid Simulation

    Brendan Carberry

      Hi All,


      Is it possible in flow simulation to conduct a multi-fluid study?

      What I am interested in achieving is water flowing from a pipe - impacting with an impeller - and then flowing through an opening.

      The impeller is at the end of the pipe and is rotating with the water, but also a large part of air is rotating with the impeller. This is because the impeller will not be submerged in water and at environmental pressure.....


      SO, can Solidworks have water and air in the same simulation specifically in an impeller when it is rotating??


      Has anybody done this? or anything similar? this is characteristic of a Pelton wheel or a cross-flow turbine....


      Kind regards,


        • Re: Multifluid Simulation
          Chris Michalski

          The short answer is no.  Flow Simulation is limited in the differences in densities of the "fluids" in a simulation.  It does not do mixed phase (gas and fluid interaction).  For some problems you can get an approximate solution by using fluids of differing densities but with the rotating impeller it adds a degree of complexity that will likely overpower the effects of this crude workaround.

          • Re: Multifluid Simulation
            Michael Kalin

            This is unfortunately well beyond the capabilities of Flow Simulation. Multiple fluids can be used, but they must be the same phase to touch one another or separated by a solid medium. Particle studies can predict what small amounts of gas or solid debris will do inside your flow, but their use is limited; they will never affect the flow of the liquid itself, for example. Also you mention the turbine is only partially submerged, so you would end up throwing water and cavitating water constantly; this is an extremely complex multiphysics problem and even the most advanced solvers would have difficulty solving it. Consider that for a 2D, one cell thick cavitation problem using water and no moving parts, it takes about an hour for an analysis to predict what happens. A rotating fan blade moving just air takes 1.5 hours. Now you have multiple complex shapes moving water and air, free-surface liquid, cavitation, and high speed flow at different densities all at once. Not a pretty picture from an FEA standpoint. The purpose of FEA, currently, is not to exactly replicate real life but to analysis specific scenarios to gain insight one variable at a time.