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Simulation of a Tank fill by Volume of Fluid Method Using Ansys Fluent

VOF model is used to model immiscible fluids with clearly defined interface. Numerical study of multiphase fluid flows require mathematical methods for distinguishing interface between two fluids. The volume of fluid (VOF) method is one of such method which takes care of fluid shape in a local domain and reconstructs the interface from volume fraction of one fluid.

It is a surface-tracking technique applied to a fixed Eulerian mesh where Navier Stokes equations which describe the motion of the flow have to be solved separately. The method is based on the solution of a transport equation for variable ‘C’ (often also referred as indicator or colour function) for the liquid phase.



The following mathematical equations are involved in the analysis process:


Central Part 3D Navier Stokes


Numerical Discritization


Cij represents the portion of the area of the cell (i, j) filled with liquid phase and the phase function χ:

Cij Equation




where 0 < C < 1 in cells cut by the interface S and C = 0 or 1 away from it.

The VOF method doesn't explicitly track the interface, it reconstructs the interface based on calculation of the volume fraction of fluid. The Color Function also cannot be solved easily. Several methods for the reconstruction of the interface exist, the most popular being PLIC (Piecewise Linear Interface Calculate).

In a 3D space, the interface can be described by:





Where n is the normal vector to the interface and α is a constant line.
α can be solved by root-finding method or analytical formulas α=α(C) and n⃗ has several approaches such as Parker and Yong's method, Least-squarts method etc.


The Model is created in Design Modeler. Fig 1 shows the Tank Model. Inlet diameter of the tank 200 mm and pipe diameter between two tanks is 100 and outlet diameter is 50mm.


Simulation of a Tank fill by Volume of Fluid Method Using Ansys Fluent

 Fig.1: Tank Model



Meshing is created in ANSYS according to the following parameters.

Mesh Details:

Nodes: 5284

Elements: 5056

Mesh Type: Quadrilateral.

Thereafter the name selection for the configuration has been done as: inlet and outlet.

meshed image of Simulation of a Tank fill by Volume of Fluid Method Using Ansys Fluent

 Fig.2: Meshed Model


Fluent Setup:

General Settings:

1. Check the mesh.

2. Examine the mesh.

Examinig mesh of Simulation of a Tank fill by Volume of Fluid Method Using Ansys Fluent

Fig.3: Examining Mesh


3. Set the Gravitational Acceleration.

gravitational image

Fig.4: General Setting


Enter -9.81 m/s2 for the Gravitational Acceleration in the Y direction.


1. Enable the Volume of Fluid multiphase model for two phases.

Multiphase Model

Fig.5: Multi-Phase Model Setting


2. Enable the standard k-e turbulence model.

Viscous Model

Fig.6: Viscous Model Setting


 Defining Material:

Material- Air : For primary Phase
Material- Air : Create Edit-Water Liquid

Defining material

Fig.7: Defining Material


Define: Phase-Phase 1: Air

phase 1 air

Fig.8: Phase - 1- Air


Phase-Phase 2: Water-Liquid

phase 2 water

Fig.9: Phase - 2- Water


Boundary Condition:

At Inlet: Velocity Inlet-Mixture - 0.25 m/s.

velocity inlet

Fig.10: Defining Velocity at Inlet.


Velocity Inlet: Phase 2 - edit Multiphase: Volume Fraction: 1
At Outlet: Pressure Outlet.

Solution Initialization:

solution initialization

Fig.11: Initializing the Solution



 Region Adaptation:

Region Adaptation

Fig.12: Region Adaptation Setting


Select: Adapt

select adaptation


 Select: Mark

Patch: Volume Fraction in Variable and Hexahedral-r0 in registers to patch.


Fig.13: Patch Setting


Calculation Activities: Auto save every 5sec.

Calculation Activities

Fig.14: Auto-Save Calculation Setting


 Run Calculation:

Run calculation

Fig.15: Defining No. of Time Steps.



Volume Fraction after 10 secs:

10 secs

Fig.16: Volume Fraction after 10 secs.


Volume Fraction after 20 secs:

Volume Fraction after 20 secs Simulation of a Tank fill by Volume of Fluid Method Using Ansys Fluent

Fig.17: Volume Fraction after 20 secs



Volume Fraction after 30 secs:

Volume fraction after 30 secs in Simulation of a Tank

Fig.18: Volume Fraction after 30 secs


Volume Fraction after 40 secs:

Volume fraction after 40 secs

Fig.19: Volume Fraction after 40 secs


Volume Fraction after 50 secs:

Volume fraction after 50 secs

Fig.20: Volume Fraction after 50 secs


Velocity Streamline:

velocity streamline

Fig.21: Velocity Streamline


Velocity Vector:

velocity vector

Fig.22: Velocity Vector