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Simulation of 2- & 3-D free-surface flows of complex fluids with conformation tensor models


Pressure distribution inside the Micromed DeBakey Pump (Impeller) taken by former Rice Ph.D. student Dhruv Arora.

Our group uses large-scale, parallel finite-element codes to model flows where surface forces and liquid elasticity dominate inertia and viscosity, e.g., microscale flows, biological flows, and flows of complex fluids. In addition to flow modeling, we also study flow-induced blood damage. In collaboration with Prof. Marek Behr (RWTH Aachen), we have developed a new model for hemolysis in fast flows; this model has been tested with encouraging results in the GYRO (Baylor College of Medicine) and DeBakey (Micromed Cardiovascular, Inc.) ventricular assist devices.

Our group is focused not only on solving these practical problems through parallel computational techniques but also on the development of novel numerical formulations for simulating viscoelastic and free-surface flows. These novel formulations include a new Galerkin-least-squares formulation, extensions to the log-conformation method for viscoelastic flows, operator-splitting methods for free surface flows, and an isochoric mapping method for computing free-surface flows in droplets.


  • 10K_imp_P.mpg (credits: D. Arora, M. Behr, and M. Pasquali, Rice University & RWTH Aachen)