The interface capturing approach to volume-of-fluid (VOF) simulation relies on high-resolution spatial discretization of the volume fraction equation, without explicit reconstruction of the phase interface within computational control volumes. One advantage of this approach is that it may be applied on general topology meshes in a straightforward manner. This paper investigates the performance of two different high-resolution discretization schemes used for the solution of the volume fraction equation on three-dimensional unstructured meshes. The schemes are used to obtain results for several simple test problems, including convection of a round and a square phase profile in a uniform fluid stream, two-phase oil and water flow in an inclined channel, and convection of a round jet-in-crossflow. The performance of the two schemes is compared in terms of their ability to minimize the effects of numerical dissipation, which tends to “smear” the phase interface over several computational control volumes. It is shown that a recently proposed scheme that relies on maximization of the volume fraction gradient in the region of the interface yields substantially better results than a more commonly used NVD (normalized variable diagram) based scheme, as well as traditional first and second-order upwind schemes.

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