Calculation of droplet deformation by surface tension effects using the level set method

A. Balabel, B. Binninger, Marcus Herrmann, N. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A new numerical model based on the level set method is developed for computing unsteady droplet internal flows. The level set is used for capturing and tracking the interface, which is defined as the zero level set of a continuous function. The surface tension is treated as a boundary value condition on the interface, which, through the Young-Laplace equation, determines the pressure jump across the interface. The proposed numerical model is used to simulate oscillation/deformation of an initially elongated neutrally buoyant droplet in an otherwise quiescent fluid under surface tension effects only. Theoretical models for linear droplet oscillation processes are presented and are used to provide a definitive check on the numerical model's accuracy. Nonlinear oscillations are also discussed. Good agreement between theory and numerical simulation is obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-278
Number of pages22
JournalCombustion Science and Technology
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Drop
  • Level set
  • Surface tension
  • Two-phase flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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