This work aimed to analyze the turbulent natural convection in a volumetrically heated fluid with Prandtl number equal to 0.6, representing the oxide material layer of a corium. Four turbulence models were scrutinized in order to select the most appropriate one for turbulence modeling based on Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANS) of natural convection in a molten core. The turbulence models scrutinized are the standard k-ε, Shear Stress Transport (SST), low-Reynolds-k-ε (Launder-Sharma) and also an elliptic blending model ν2-f. The simulations were carried out in a square cavity with isothermal walls, for Rayleigh numbers (Ra) ranging from 109 to 1011. The numerical simulations, performed in an open-source of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) - OpenFOAM (Open Field Operation and Manipulation), provided outcomes of average Nusselt number as function of Ra number, which were in a reasonable agreement with an experimental correlation and other authors’ simulations. It was also possible to observe the limitations and robustness of each model analyzed, enabling to conclude that the most adequate turbulence models for the present physical problem were SST and ν2-f.

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