The flow of thin falling liquid films is unstable to long-wave disturbances. The flow instability leads to development of waves at the liquid-gas interface. The wave patterns depend on the properties of the liquid, the Reynolds number, the plate inclination angle, and the distance from the film inlet. The effect of the waves on heat and mass transfer in falling liquid films is a subject of ongoing scientific discussion.
In this work numerical investigation of the wave dynamics has been performed using a modified Volume of Fluid (VOF) method for tracking the free surface. The surface tension is described using the Continuum Surface Force (CSF) model. At low disturbance frequency solitary waves of large amplitude are developed, which are preceded by low-amplitude capillary waves. At high disturbance frequency low amplitude sinusoidal waves are developed. The wave parameters (peak height, length, propagation speed) are computed from the simulation results and compared with available experimental correlations in a wide range of parameters. The effects of the disturbance frequency and the plane inclination angle on the wave dynamics have been studied. The interaction of waves initiated by simultaneous disturbances of two different frequencies has been investigated.
The heat transfer in the wavy film has been simulated for constant wall temperature boundary condition. The effect of the Prandtl number and the disturbance frequency on the local and global heat transfer parameters has been investigated. It has been shown that the influence of waves on heat transfer is significant for large Prandtl numbers in a specific range of disturbance frequencies.