A multiphase MPS solver for modeling multi-fluid interaction with free surface and its application in oil spill

Guangtao Duan, Bin Chen*, Ximin Zhang, Yechun Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Numerical simulation of free surface multi-fluid flow is a challenging problem owning to the interaction between deformed interface and free surface. In this paper, a multiphase particle solver (free surface multiphase moving particle semi-implicit method, FS-MMPS) is developed to predict the early spreading flow of spilled oil where exist the oil–water interface and air–oil/air–water free surface. First, a multiphase virtual particle model is proposed to substitute the inaccurate free surface boundary condition for multiphase flow in conventional MPS methods. Specifically, virtual particles of different liquid phases are compensated outside free surface so that the pressure of free surface particles can be solved from pressure Poisson equation, thereby improving the accuracy of multi-fluid interaction at free surface. Meanwhile, a pressure gradient model based on the coupling of Taylor series expansion and dynamic specification of particle stabilizing term (PST) is proposed to simultaneously enhance accuracy and depress instability caused by multiphase virtual particles. Experiments of early spreading of thick oil slicks and continuous oil spill from a damaged tank are conducted for validation and demonstration of the accuracy and stability enhancements in 2D. Finally, the effects of traveling wave and continuous spilling on oil spreading are investigated to show the capability of the proposed method. The spreading of thick oil slicks is accelerated when wave height increases or wave length decreases, and the largest increase of spreading rate accelerated by traveling wave is 14%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-161
Number of pages29
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Free surface flow
  • Moving particle semi-implicit (MPS) method
  • Multiphase flow
  • Oil spills
  • Pressure gradient model
  • Virtual particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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