We describe a novel approach to the mathematical modeling and computational simulation of fully three-dimensional, electromagnetically and thermally driven, steady liquid-metal flow. The phenomenon is governed by the Navier-Stokes equations, Maxwell’s equations, Ohm’s law, and the heat equation, all nonlinearly coupled via Lorentz and electromotive forces, buoyancy forces, and convective and dissipative heat transfer. Employing the electric current density rather than the magnetic field as the primary electromagnetic variable, it is possible to avoid artificial or highly idealized boundary conditions for electric and magnetic fields and to account exactly for the electromagnetic interaction of the fluid with the surrounding media. A finite element method based on this approach was used to simulate the flow of a metallic melt in a cylindrical container, rotating steadily in a uniform magnetic field perpendicular to the cylinder axis. Velocity, pressure, current, and potential distributions were computed and compared to theoretical predictions.

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