There are numerous flow phenomena in pressure vessel and piping systems that involve the dynamics of free fluid surfaces. For example, fluid interfaces must be considered during the draining or filling of tanks, in the formation and collapse of vapor bubbles, and in seismically shaken vessels that are partially filled. To aid in the analysis of these types of flow phenomena, a new technique has been developed for the computation of complicated free-surface motions. This technique is based on the concept of a local average volume of fluid (VOF) and is embodied in a computer program for two-dimensional, transient fluid flow called SOLA-VOF. The basic approach used in the VOF technique is briefly described, and compared to other free-surface methods. Specific capabilities of the SOLA-VOF program are illustrated by generic examples of bubble growth and collapse, flows of immiscible fluid mixtures, and the confinement of spilled liquids.

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