Thermal Effect on Mixing, CFD Simulation ANSYS Fluent Training

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This project investigates the thermal effect of mixing Glycerin & Water-liquid via ANSYS Fluent, and the results of this simulation have been analyzed.

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Geometry, Mesh, and CFD Simulation methodologygy explanation, result analysis and conclusion
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Thermal Effect on Mixing Problem Description

This project investigates the thermal effect of mixing Glycerin & Water-liquid. The study aims to determine the effect of applying heat flux on a Y-shape pipe. First, the problem is solved without any heat flux, and then a different heat flux is applied.

Geometry & Mesh

The 3D geometry is designed in Ansys Design Modeler. There are two inlets for water-liquid and glycerin. After getting in contact with each other, they interact 10-meter long pipe. In addition, the mesh grid is carried out using Ansys Meshing software.




CFD Simulation

Several assumptions have been considered, including:

  • The simulation is Steady to capture fluid behavior in a steady-state manner.
  • The pressure-based solver type was used due to the incompressibility of the working fluid.
  • Gravitational acceleration effects were ignored.

The following table represents a summary of the solution:

Multiphase Volume of Fluid (VOF)
  Formulation Implicit
  Interface Modeling Type Sharp
  Number of Eulerian Phases 2
Energy On
Viscous k-epsilon Realizable Standard Wall Function
Definition method Fluent database
Material name Water-liquid, Glycerin
Cell zone condition
Material name Mixture
Boundary condition
Inlet-1 Type Mass-flow-inlet
Mass flow rate 0.15 m/s
Mass flow rate 0
Inlet-2 Type Mass-flow-inlet
Mass flow rate 0
Mass flow rate 0.15 m/s
Outlet Type Pressure outlet
Guage Pressure 0

Wall inlet-1

Wall inlet-2

Type Wall
Thermal Condition Heat Flux
Solver configuration
Pressure-velocity coupling Scheme Coupled
Spatial Discretization Gradient Least squares cell-based
Pressure PRESTO
Momentum First-order upwind
Turbulent kinetic energy First-order upwind
Turbulent dissipation rate First-order upwind
Volume Fraction Compressive
Initialization Initialization methods Standard Initialization
Run calculation Number of Iteration 2000


Thermal Effect on Mixing Results

After the simulation, 2-dimensional contours of both volume fractions are extracted. Plus, a plot indicating the volume fraction of phase 1, which is water-liquid, through the centerline of the outlet, is shown below. Indeed, the viscosity of glycerin is highly dependent on temperature, as illustrated in Fig.3. Applying a heat flux on pipe walls increases the temperature and decreases the glycerin viscosity. As a result, it has less surface interaction (viscous forces) and resistance through water-liquid and causes better mixing (see Fig.4). The plot shows that by applying 30000-watt heat flux, the volume fraction of water liquid gets higher at each point which illustrates the presence of water where it was not before. Moreover, The contours show that, due to the low thermal conductivity of glycerin, the temperature of central points remains approximately constant. In other words, by using a highly conductive fluid, the impact of thermal conditions on mixing would be more impressive.


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