333185 A New Boundary Treatment for Complex Geometries in Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

Monday, November 4, 2013
Continental 6 (Hilton)
Andreas Eitzlmayr1, Stefan Radl1, Christoph Kloss2,3, Gerold Koscher4 and Johannes G. Khinast1,4, (1)Institute for Process and Particle Engineering, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria, (2)Christian-Doppler Laboratory on Particulate Flow Modelling, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Austria, (3)DCS Computing GmbH, Linz, Austria, (4)Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH, Graz, Austria

Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) is a Lagrangian particle method, which was originally developed in astrophysics to simulate flows in boundary-less domains. Nowadays, the method is mostly used to solve the governing equations of fluid flow, including free surface flows1.

However, the treatment of wall boundaries in SPH is not unique and different approaches exists, mostly based on particles2,3. However, engineering applications often require complex shaped geometries, usually generated by CAD programs, e.g. in the STL format, where an appropriate use of boundary particles or ghost particles would be highly complicated or even lead to wrong results (e.g. at corners). Today it is not obvious how to handle such STL geometries properly in SPH.

In our work, we developed a new approach to model the interaction between SPH particles and wall triangles (i.e., the STL geometry), which can easily be implemented in a SPH code and lead to a proper behavior of fluid particles near walls.

We use the open-source particle simulator LIGGGHTS (www.liggghts.com), originally developed for the simulation of granular flow via the Discrete Element Method (DEM), also providing an SPH module. Our boundary treatment together with the viscosity model of Morris et al.2 leads to a close agreement of the velocity profiles with the analytical solution for a channel flow between two plates, specifically an accurately fulfilled no-slip condition (see Figure 1).

The main focus of our research is the application of SPH to the simulation of mixing in hot melt extrusion processes (HME), which attracted increasing attention in pharmaceutical manufacturing in recent years. The typically used co-rotating twin-screw design consists of a complex shaped, rotating geometry, highly challenging for mesh-based methods due to the deformation of the free volume caused by the screw rotation. Our new method for boundary handling was used to simulate the mixing process within the geometry of a co-rotating twin-screw extruder (snapshots of the distribution of two different particle types in the cross section of a twin-screw are shown in Figure 2).

The presented approach provides a robust basis for efficient simulations of fluid flow in complex, moving geometries in the STL format.


Figure 1: Velocity profiles in a pressure-driven channel flow: analytical solution, dots: SPH solution using the developed boundary conditions.


Figure 2: Snapshots of mixing in a cross-section of a co-rotating twin-screw extruder. Top: initial state, center after 0.05 revolutions, bottom after 1.05 revolutions.


1. Monaghan JJ. Smoothed particle hydrodynamics. Reports on Progress in Physics. 2005;68(8):1703-1759.

2. Morris JP, Fox PJ, Zhu Y. Modeling Low Reynolds Number Incompressible Flows Using SPH. Journal of Computational Physics. 1997;136(1);214-226.

3. Colagrossi A, Landrini M. Numerical simulation of interfacial flows by smoothed particle hydrodynamics. Journal of Computational Physics. 2003;191(2):448-475

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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Fluid Mechanics (Area 1j)
See more of this Group/Topical: Engineering Sciences and Fundamentals