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Numerical Heat Transfer, Part B: Fundamentals

An International Journal of Computation and Methodology

ISSN: 1040-7790 (Print) 1521-0626 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/unhb20

Numerical simulation of contact melting using the


cell-splitting modified enthalpy method

Niranjan Gudibande & Kannan Iyer

To cite this article: Niranjan Gudibande & Kannan Iyer (2017): Numerical simulation of contact
melting using the cell-splitting modified enthalpy method, Numerical Heat Transfer, Part B:
Fundamentals, DOI: 10.1080/10407790.2016.1244396

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10407790.2016.1244396

Published online: 05 Jan 2017.

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NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10407790.2016.1244396

Numerical simulation of contact melting using the cell-splitting


modified enthalpy method
Niranjan Gudibande and Kannan Iyer
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India

ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY


The present work deals with the numerical simulation of contact melting Received 5 September 2016
using a cell-splitting enthalpy method, which is an improvement over the Accepted 7 September 2016
conventional enthalpy-porosity method. It is demonstrated that such a
method is far superior to the enthalpy-porosity method which not only is
unable to capture the interface precisely but is also unable to capture the
melt rates, unless the coefficients are back-fitted with the experimental data.
In contact melting, the contact layer is thin and hence to resolve the flow,
fine grids have to be used. A novel integral model is proposed where a single
control volume is used in the contact layer. A parametric study is performed
for contact melting in a square geometry and a correlation is evolved for the
melt rates. The shapes of the solid during contact and noncontact melting
are discussed and the physical mechanisms that decide the evolution are
articulated.

1. Introduction
Understanding of melting is necessary in design and optimization of casting, welding, and thermal-
energy storage devices. The motivation for the present work arose from a need to analyze the melting
of lead in radioactive material transport casks subjected to fire. Contact melting is a special case of
melting, which occurs when the solid is heated in a container from all sides causing it to melt from
its entire periphery. In contact melting, the solid detaches from the walls of the container and floats
on a thin layer of molten liquid. Figure 1 shows contact melting in a two-dimensional square cavity.
The liquid, which is continuously generated at the bottom due to melting is squeezed through this
thin layer by the net weight of the floating solid (as shown in the magnified view in Figure 1). The
velocity of the liquid so generated has a pronounced effect on enhancing the natural convection in
the molten cavity which results in increasing the melting rates. The pressure distribution due to
the squeezing of the molten liquid produces an upward force, which dynamically balances the net
weight of the solid. The liquid layer (contact layer) which is formed under the solid in a typical
contact melting process is very thin. This brings the solid (which is at a lower temperature) in close
proximity to the heated bottom wall thereby enhancing the heat transfer and the melting rates. The
contact melting process has been analyzed both analytically [110] and numerically [1116] by
several investigators. Analytical treatments are mostly limited to the solution of velocity and tempera-
ture fields in the contact layer. Since the thickness of contact layer is small, analytical treatments
generally use lubrication theory approximations to simplify the governing equations. In such an
analysis, the transient and the convective terms are neglected in the momentum equations, and the
pressure across the contact layer is assumed to be constant. Quasi-steady approximation is invoked,
in which the solid is assumed to be in equilibrium under the action of the pressure and the

CONTACT Kannan Iyer kiyer@iitb.ac.in Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay,
Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 076, India.
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this article can be found online on at www.tandfonline.com/unhb.
2016 Taylor & Francis
2 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Nomenclature

qS qL gL3
Ar Archimedes number qL an x,y coordinate directions (m)
CP specific heat (J/kg K) thermal diffusivity (m2/s)
FBody body force on the solid (N) thermal expansion coefficient (1/K)
FSurface surface force on the solid (N) diffusion coefficient of a generic transport variable
f liquid fraction thickness of the contact layer (m)
g acceleration due to gravity (m/s2) HM latent heat of melting (J/kg)
^
g unit vector along the acceleration due to gravity nondimensional temperature
vector dynamic viscosity (N s/m2)
h enthalpy (J/kg) kinematic viscosity (m2/s)
k thermal conductivity (W/m K) density (kg/m3)
L characteristic length (m) nondimensional time
^
n unit normal generic transport variable
P pressure (N/m2)
Pr Prandtl number an Subscripts
3
g grid
Ra Rayleigh number gbTWanTM L
I solidliquid interface
St Stefan number CP TDH W TM
M
L liquid
M evaluated at melting temperature
T temperature (K)
S solid
TM melting temperature (K)
W wall
t time (s)
u,v velocity components (m/s) Superscript
V volume (m3) * nondimensional variables
V velocity vector (m/s)

body forces. The thickness of the contact layer across the body is assumed to be constant. The
aforementioned analysis has been applied to contact melting in rectangular [1, 2], cubical [35],
cylindrical [69], and spherical geometries [10]. Although analytical results are valuable, these are
limited to the contact layer only. In practical problems, the melting will take place not only from
the contact layer but also in the peripheral regions. To obtain solutions in these situations, numerical
simulations are inevitable.
Few works on the numerical simulation of contact melting exist in the open literature. Among
them, the earliest is due to Hong and Saito [11]. The authors analyzed transient contact melting
on a flat plate due to an imposed downward force. Melting was simulated using a fixed-grid enthalpy
method and to impose rigid body velocity to the solid, a variable viscosity method was used. A
volume of fluid treatment was used to advect the solidliquid interface. Asako et al. [12], Asako
and Faghri [13], and Ghasemi and Molki [14] analyzed contact melting numerically in a microgravity
environment using enthalpy method with a variable viscosity treatment for the solid. Assis et al. [15]
and Hosseinizadeh et al. [16] have numerically simulated contact melting in a spherical container
using the enthalpy-porosity method, with the commercial code Fluent.

Figure 1. Schematic of the contact melting.


NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 3

The literature survey reveals that the enthalpy method has been used in all the numerical
simulations of contact melting. The enthalpy method, however, uses arbitrary numbers of large
magnitude as mushy-zone constants to impose the rigid body velocity field in the solid. The
numerical results are found to be sensitive to the values of these constants. In contact melting,
the solidliquid interface moves due to the combined effect of melting and the downward motion
of the solid. The downward motion of the solid manifests itself as an advection term in the energy
equation. If this advection term is not discretized using a suitable scheme, the solidliquid inter-
face becomes diffuse. The numerical simulations [1214] were performed in a microgravity
environment, where no special treatment was used for advecting the solidliquid interface.
Since the movement of the solidliquid interface due to the downward motion of the solid in
microgravity environment is small, the smearing of solidliquid interface will be generally small.
However, in earth gravity environment, numerical simulation using conventional enthalpy-
porosity method shows a significant diffusion of the solidliquid interface as evident in the
contour plots of Assis et al. [15] and Hosseinizadeh et al. [16]. Further, Hosseinizadeh et al.
[16] found that that the numerical simulations were extremely sensitive to the values of the
mushy-zone constants. The diffusion of the solidliquid interface as well as the effect of
mushy-zone constants will be further elaborated in Section 6.2.
The present authors had previously developed a cell-splitting enthalpy method [17], which
eliminated the need for the mushy-zone constants. The method was demonstrated for melting
where the solid was attached to the container. In this paper, this method is extended to simulate
contact melting. To eliminate the diffusion of the solidliquid interface due to the downward
motion of the solid, a moving grid methodology has been used, the details of which are presented
later in the paper. Melting of octadecane in a sphere for which Hosseinizadeh et al. [16] have
conducted both numerical and experimental studies is then simulated. With these simulations,
it is demonstrated that the present numerical prediction of the solidliquid interface shows no
diffusion, in contrast to the numerical results of Hosseinizadeh et al. [16], and the present
solution compares well with their experimental results. The methodology is also benchmarked
for contact melting of octadecane in a two-dimensional square cavities for which Hirata et al.
[18] have conducted experiments.
In contact melting, the contact layer is generally small. For example, in the experiments of Hirata
et al. [18], which involved melting in a square cavity of 50 mm width, the contact layer was found to
be about 0.10.2 mm. To resolve the fluid and the temperature field numerically, very fine grids have
to be used, thereby increasing computational time. To overcome this obstacle, an integral model is
also proposed in the present work. In the integral model, a single control volume spans the thickness
of the contact layer. To recover the loss in the accuracy using a single control volume in the contact
layer, higher order interpolation scheme has been utilized. The integral model and the detailed model
have been analyzed in terms of the computation time needed to produce a given accuracy for contact
melting in a square cavity. The integral model is shown to decrease the computation time by a factor
of about 2.5.
The effect of contact melting on the solidliquid interface, the convection patterns, and the melting
rates of a low Prandtl number substance (Pr of 0.0236 corresponding to that of lead) in a square
domain are then presented. A correlation for the melting rates in terms of the relevant nondimen-
sional numbers is also presented and discussed.

2. Governing equations for contact melting


The governing equations for a contact melting situation shown in Figure 2 are first presented. A
square/spherical container initially has a phase-change material at the melting temperature. The outer
walls are then raised to a temperature higher than the melting temperature. The peripheral melting
results in contact melting. In these simulations, the molten liquid is assumed to be incompressible and
the Boussinesq approximation is invoked for predicting natural convection. The governing equations
4 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Figure 2. Schematic of the contact melting problem (a) a square melting case and (b) a sphere melting case.

of continuity and the momentum in the liquid domain are:

r V 0; 1

qV
qL V r V rP mr2 V qL gbT TM ; 2
qt

In the solid domain,

V VS : 3
Here, VS is the velocity of the solid. By applying Newtons second law to the solid, the solid velocity
(VS) can be obtained as:

dqS VVS
FSurface FBody : 4
dt
Here, V is the volume of the solid, FSurface and FBody are the surface and body forces, respectively.
The body force can be expressed as:

FBody qS qL g; 5
while the surface force can be written as:
Z Z
FSurface ^dA
Pn ^dA:
mrV n 6
A A

The enthalpy form of the energy equation can be expressed as:

qqh
r Vqh r krT : 7
qt
Here, h denotes the enthalpy. The enthalpy h can be related to the temperature through the
following relation:
8 h
< CPS h<0
T TM 0 0 < h < DHM : 8
: h DHM
CPL h > DH M

Here, TM is the melting temperature, CPL and CPS are the liquid and the solid specific heats,
respectively, and HM is the latent heat of melting. In the above equation, the enthalpy of the solid
at the melting temperature is set as zero.
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 5

2.1. Nondimensional parameters


To understand the relevant nondimensional numbers in contact melting, Eqs. (1)(8) are nondimen-
sionalized using the following variables:

x ta VL PL2
x ; s 2 ; V ; P 2
L L a qa
9
T TM h CPS
h ; h ; CP :
TW T M CPL TW TM CPL
In the above equation, is the thermal diffusivity of the molten liquid, TM and TW are the wall and
the melting temperatures, respectively, and L is a characteristic length. The characteristic length is chosen
to be the length of the container for contact melting in a square cavity, while it is taken as the radius for
contact melting in a sphere. The nondimensional form of the governing equations in the liquid are:

r V 0; 11

qV
V rV rP Pr r2 V Ra Pr ^gh: 12
qs
In the solid domain:

V VS ; 13

d q V V
FSurface FBody ; 14
ds
FBody ArPr^g; 15
Z Z
FSurface P n^dA PrrV n ^dA: 16
A A

The enthalpy form of the energy equation can be expressed as:

qh
r V h r rh: 17
qs
The closure equations relating the nondimensional enthalpy h* to the nondimensional tempera-
ture can be written as:
8 h
< CP h < 0
h 0 1 : 18
: 1 0 < h1 < St
h St h > St

The relevant nondimensional numbers in the governing equations are:

qSqL gL3 n
Ar ; Pr ;
qL an a
: 19
gbTW TM L3 CPL TW TM
Ra ; St
an DHM

3. Cell-splitting methodology
In the simulation of melting, one has to deal with a moving solidliquid interface across which certain
physical and flow properties may be discontinuous. Further, certain boundary conditions will have to
be imposed on the interface. Several numerical methods such as front-tracking, front-fixing, and
6 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Figure 3. (a) Illustration of the cell-splitting method and (b) using cell splitting to split the spherical boundary.

enthalpy methods are used in the simulation of melting, among which the enthalpy method is com-
mon due to its robustness and simplicity. Enthalpy method combines the energy equation of the solid,
liquid, and the interface conditions into a single equation known as the enthalpy equation. By solving
the enthalpy form of the energy equation in a finite-volume frame work, the temperature and the
liquid fraction (f) can be obtained. Liquid fraction is the volume fraction of the liquid in the control
volume. In the enthalpy method, since the exact location of the interface is unknown, the no-slip
boundary condition is imposed artificially using sink terms in the momentum equation. As already
stated, these sink terms use arbitrary constants, called mushy-zone constants, and the solutions
obtained are found to be sensitive to these constants [19]. The modified enthalpy method [17] has
been developed to eliminate the need for these constants. While the original work on this method
may be referred for more details, the important steps are outlined here. By solving the energy
equation in an enthalpy frame work, the liquid fraction field is obtained first. Using this liquid
fraction field, a continuous solidliquid interface as shown in Figure 3(a) is then constructed. These
interfaces are then used to split the control volumes into solid and liquid control volumes as shown in
Figure 3(a). On the constructed solidliquid interface, the no-slip boundary condition is directly
imposed, thereby eliminating the need for mushy-zone constants.
The cell-splitting method explained above has also been used as an immersed boundary method to
simulate melting in a spherical cavity. In this case, the boundary of the spherical container is obtained
by splitting the Cartesian domain in two subdomains, one lying inside the spherical boundary, and
one lying outside it as illustrated in Figure 3(b). Appropriate boundary conditions are imposed in
the control volumes split by the spherical boundary.

4. Contact melting
The motion of the solidliquid interface in contact melting can be viewed as a superposition of two
separate motions. The first motion involves the inward movement of the interface due to melting,
and the second one is the downward motion of the interface (with a velocity of the solid) without
volume change. The advection of the interface offers additional challenges in numerical
implementation of contact melting. The solidliquid interface is a surface across which enthalpy
and liquid fractions are discontinuous. It is well known that the use of conventional advection
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 7

Figure 4. The relative positions of solid and the grid (a) at the start of a time step, (b) at the end of a time step, and (c) after
remeshing.

schemes (such as the upwind schemes) to evaluate the advection fluxes of a discontinuous function
leads to the smearing of the discontinuity. To overcome this problem, a grid which moves locally
with the solid has been used in this work. This concept is illustrated in Figure 4 involving contact
melting in a square cavity.
Let the solidliquid interface be as shown in Figure 4(a) at the start of a time step. Let the
solid move with a velocity Vsolid in the negative y-direction. Let the interior grid points be also moved
with a velocity of Vsolid in the negative y-direction. Since the grids move with the solid, the advection
flux due to the movement of the solid is nullified in these control volumes. At the end of time step, the
top control volumes would have undergone expansion, while the bottom control volumes would have
undergone contraction as shown in Figure 4(b). After the end of the time step, the grid points are
restored back to their original position by remeshing [Figure 4(c)]. The transport variables will have
to be reinitialized in the remeshed control volumes. In reinitialization, geometric methods are used to
retain the sharpness of the interface. The details are given in Appendix A.

5. Mathematical model
The mathematical model presented in Section 2 was a generic one for melting and was meant to
identify the nondimensional parameters. Now the model is presented to tackle the contact melting.
Consider a control volume ABCD in Figure 5. An interface XY may in general pass through ABCD.
Vg1 and Vg2 are the velocity of the horizontal grid lines AB and CD, respectively. The grids move with
the velocity of the solid in all control volumes in Figure 4(b) except for control volumes P* (top) and
Q* (the bottom). The grid line AB for the top control volume is the upper domain boundary, and
hence Vg1 is zero. Similarly, the grid line CD for the bottom control volume is the lower domain
boundary, and hence Vg2 is zero. Denoting the volume and area bounded by XYBCDX as V* and
A*, respectively, the transport equation for a generic variable can be written as:
Z Z Z
d
/dV / V Vg n ^dA /V n^dA
dt
V YBDC XDBC
Z Z Z 20
/V VI n^dA Cr/ n^dA ^dA:
S/ n
XY A V

The velocity VI would be the resultant of the grid velocity and the interface velocity, i.e.,

VI VS Vn : 21
8 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Figure 5. Control volumes for applying the conservation equation.

Since the governing equations are solved in an enthalpy framework, the value Vn is unknown.
However, it can be deduced from the rate of change of the volume V*, which is known, the details
of which are presented in Appendix B.
The transport equation for after expressing Vn in terms of V* is:
Z Z Z Z
d
/dV / V Vg n ^dA ^dA
Cr/ n ^dA
S/ n
dt
V AC AC AI V
2 3
Z Z 22
6d 7
/I 4 dV V S Vg n ^dA5:
dt
V AC

In the above equation, Ac is the sum of the sides YB DC XD BC, while AI is the side XY. By
suitably substituting for , the mass, momentum, and the energy equations can be obtained. These are
presented below.

5.1. Mass conversation


Mass conservation equation with the assumption of incompressibility can be written as:
Z Z Z
d
V Vg n ^dA V S Vg n^dA dV: 23
dt
AC AC V

5.2. Momentum equation


The momentum equation for the fluid with Boussinesq approximation for treating the buoyancy
effect can be written as:
Z Z Z Z
d
qVdV qV V Vg n ^dA P^
ndA ^dA
mrV n
dt
V AC AC AI AC AI
0 1
Z Z Z 24
Bd C
qgbT Tref dV VS @ dV ^dAA:
V S Vg n
dt
V V AC
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 9

5.3. Energy equation


The energy equation for the liquid is:
Z Z Z
d
qCP TdV qCP T V Vg n^dA ^dA
krT n
dt
V AC AC AI
0 1
Z Z 25
Bd C
TM @ dV V S Vg n ^dAA:
dt
V AC

A similar equation can be written for the solid,


Z Z Z
d
qCP TdV qCP T V Vg n^dA ^dA
krT n
dt
V AC AC AI
0 1 26
Z Z
Bd C
TM @ dV VS Vg ^dAA:
n
dt
V AC

Here, V** corresponds to the volume AYX in Figure 5, while AC corresponds to the area AX AY.
An enthalpy form of the energy equation in Figure 5 for the whole control volume ABCD can be
written as:
Z Z Z
d
hdV h V Vg n ^dA krT n ^dA: 27
dt
V A A

The enthalpy and the temperatures are related by

h CPS TS TM 1 f CPL TL TM DHM f : 28


Here, HM is the latent heat of melting and f is the liquid fraction. From Eq. (27), the variation of
the liquid fraction f, and hence the location of the interface with time can be obtained. Finally, the
volume change V in control volumes such as Q* in Figure 4(b) can be obtained as:
Z Z
d
dV ^dA 0:
Vg n 29
dt
V A

5.4. Overall algorithm


The overall methodology for solving the governing equations can be summarized in the following
steps. Assuming a converged solution is available at the time step of nt, the following sequential
steps are followed:
1. Assume a solid velocity Vsolid.
2. Solve the mass, momentum, and the single-phase energy equations, enthalpy form of the energy
equation using the cell-splitting methodology [Eqs. (22)(27)].
3. Using the integral momentum balance to obtain Vsolid [Eq. (4)].
4. Repeat steps (2) and (3) till convergence is achieved.
5. Using the converged solid velocity update the location of the grids.
6. Restore the grids to the initial configuration and modify the velocity, reinitialize the temperature
and liquid fraction fields appropriately.
10 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Figure 6. The comparison of the present results with the experimental results of Hirata et al. [18].

6. Benchmarking of the computation procedure


6.1. Melting of octadecane in a square cavity
To benchmark the numerical method developed, experimental results of Hirata et al. [18] are
simulated. Hirata et al. performed experiments on contact melting of octadecane in a square
enclosure. A copper pipe of square cross section was initially filled with octadecane at the melting
temperature. The outer sidewalls were then raised to a temperature TW, which is higher than the
melting temperature by spraying the walls of the copper pipe with hot water. The melting thus
took place from all the side walls, and since the solid octadecane was not constrained, this resulted
in contact melting.
Figure 6 shows the comparison of the liquid fraction plotted as a function of nondimensional
time as predicted by the present method with the experimental results of Hirata et al. [18] for a
Stefan number of 0.0781. The results of the present work agree reasonably well with the experi-
mental results of Hirata et al. [18]. The numerical results, however, seems to overpredict the melt
fractions. In the experimental study of Hirata et al. [18], the melting was initiated by spraying hot
water over the copper pipe. The initial transient period, during which the copper pipe would be
heated was not simulated in the present case. Further, Hirata et al. [18] reported that in their
experiments, there was a variation of about 5% in the temperature of the top and bottom walls.
Considering these experimental uncertainties, the numerical and the experimental results can
be considered to match reasonably well.

6.2. Melting of octadecane in a sphere


To demonstrate that the present method does not produce a diffused solidliquid interface, the
experimental results of Hosseinizadeh et al. [16] were simulated. They conducted both experimental
and numerical studies on contact melting of octadecane in a spherical container. Octadecane was
placed inside a glass spherical container initially at a temperature of one degree below the melting
temperature. The melting was initiated by immersing this glass container in a water bath at a tem-
perature higher than the melting temperature. Since octadecane was heated from all its sides, this
resulted in contact melting. Figure 7 compares the experimental and numerical results of Hosseini-
zadeh et al. [16] with the numerical results obtained from the present simulation. It can be seen that
their numerical simulation shows a significant diffusion in the solidliquid interface. The solidliquid
interface prediction obtained from the present method, however, maintains the sharpness of the
interface. Further, the solidliquid interface obtained from the present method shows reasonable
agreement with their experimental results. Figure 8 shows the temporal variation of the fraction of
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 11

Figure 7. Comparison of the solidliquid interface from [16] with the present results at various times (a) 40 min, (b) 60 min, and
(c) 80 min.

material melted. It can be seen that these results also compare well with the experimental values. It
can be further seen in Figure 8 that when Hosseinizadeh et al. [16] used enthalpy-porosity method to
simulate melting, melt rates showed a significant sensitivity to the mushy-zone constant.

7. Integral model for the contact layer


In contact melting, the liquid in the contact layer is generally small. To resolve the fluid and
temperature fields numerically, very fine grids have to be used, thus increasing computational time.

Figure 8. The variation of liquid fraction with time. Comparison of the present results with the experimental and numerical results
of Hosseinizadeh et al. [16].
12 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Figure 9. The discretization of the contact layer.

An integral model is presented in this section to alleviate this problem. The basic idea behind this
model is to use just one control volume in the vicinity of the bottom wall whose height corresponds
to the thickness of the contact layer as shown in Figure 9. Since sufficient number of control volumes
are present along the x-direction, the temperature and the velocity fields will be resolved in the
x-direction (Figure 9). In the y-direction due to the presence of a single control volume, the diffusive
fluxes in the y-direction will be estimated by a linear profile which can lead to errors. If however
higher order polynomials are used in the y-direction during discretization of the diffusive terms in
the governing equations, a better resolution of the temperature and the velocity field can be obtained.
The order of polynomials used in the governing equations is chosen based on the analytical results of
Bejan [20] and Yoo et al. [1] for a simple contact melting problem. Based on the analytical results, a
second-order polynomial is chosen for the velocity distribution, while a fourth-order polynomial is
chosen for the temperature distribution. Adding these polynomials in the discrete equations results
in additional source terms in the momentum and the energy equations as described in the next
section.

7.1. Profile assumption for u velocity


In a control volume such as that shown in the Figure 9, up represents the velocity averaged over
the control volume. To get a higher order approximation in the y-direction, u is represented by a
second-order polynomial in the y-direction, i.e.,

u a by cy2 : 30
The above equation is subjected to the following constraints:

u 0 at y 0
31
u 1 at y d:
Let up denote the average of u across the thickness of the contact layer, i.e.,
Zd
1
up udy: 32
d
0

Incorporating these conditions, the velocity can be written as:


y y
u 6up 1 : 33
d d
The profile in Eq. (32) is incorporated into the integral form of the x-momentum equation. This
results in the following discrete x-momentum equation:
X
ap up anb unb pw pe DxDy b Su up ; 34
nb
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 13

where

Dy Dy
aE Pr h ue ; 0iDy; aW Pr huw ; 0iDy;
Dxe Dxw
Dx Dx
aN Pr h vn ; 0iDy; aS Pr hvs ; 0iDy; 35
Dyn Dys
X DxDy DxDy O 8up
aP anb ; b up Su :
nb
Dt Dt d

It may be noted that if the equations are discretized with a control volume whose thickness is equal
to the contact layer, the discrete form of the equation would be Eq. (34) without the source term Su.
The source term is a result of the assumption of higher order polynomials in deriving the discrete
equation.

7.2. Profile assumption for temperature


In a manner similar to the assumption of velocity profiles in deriving the momentum equation, a
fourth-order polynomial is assumed for the discretization of the energy equation. Let the polynomial
be of the form:

h a by cy2 dy3 ey4 : 36

The boundary conditions for are:

h 1 at y 0
37
h 0 at y d:

Since P represents the average temperature across the contact layer, the following constraint is
applicable:

Zd
1
hP hdy: 38
d
0

The energy equation (in nondimensional form) for the liquid portion of the contact layer can be
written as:

qh qh qh q2 h q2 h
u v 2 2: 39
qt qx qy qy qx

A further constraint can be imposed by taking the limit y 0 of the energy Eq. (38). At the wall
(y 0), the x- and the y-component of the velocity vanishes, thus the second and the third term in the
LHS of Eq. (38) is zero. Since the temperature ( 1) is constant on the bottom wall, the transient
term in the LHS of Eq. (38) is zero. Further, since the temperature along the wall is constant ( 1),
the derivatives of along the wall (i.e., x-direction) is zero, thus the last term on the RHS of Eq. (38) is
zero. At the wall the energy Eq. (38) reduces to:

q2 h
0: 40
qy2 y0
14 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Differentiating the energy Eq. (39) with respect to y results in:

q2 h qu qh q2 h qv qh q2 h q3 h q3 h
u v 2 3 2 : 41
qyqt qy qx qxqy qy qy qy qy qx qy
Taking the limit y 0 results in the following additional constraints, we observe that due to the
zero velocity constraint on the wall, the third and the fifth term on the LHS of Eq. (40) is zero.
Further, from continuity equation:

qv
0: 42
qy y0

Since the temperature along the wall is constant ( 1), the derivative of along x is zero at the
wall, thus nullifying the second term in the LHS of Eq. (40). Incorporating these simplifications in
Eq. (40) results in:
3
qh q2 h q3 h
: 43
qy3 y0 qyqt qx2 qy

Using Eqs. (36), (37), (39) and (42), we obtain the equation for the temperature profile as:

10hP v 1
h1 g g4 g 6g3 5g4 8g 5g4 ; 44
3 6 3
where

q2 h q3 h
v 6d3 : 45
qyqt qx2 qy
Using the profile assumption of Eq. (43) into the integral energy equation, discrete form of the
energy equation can be written as:
X
ap hp anb hnb b Sh hp Ss ; 46
nb

where

Dy Dy
aE h ue ; 0iDy; aW huw ; 0iDy
Dxe Dxw
Dx Dx
aN h vn ; 0iDy; aS hvs ; 0iDy
Dyn Dys
X DxDy DxDy O 47
aP anb ; b h
nb
Dt Dt P
28Dx 20Dx 1 Dx
Sh ; Ss v:
3Dy 3Dy 3 Dy

8. Results and discussion


8.1. Simulations of the contact layer
To demonstrate the utility of the integral model and to benchmark it with the analytical solution, a
test problem shown in Figure 10 is simulated. A two-dimensional slab of width L is being pushed with
a force F over a heated plate whose temperature is greater than the melting temperature of the solid.
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 15

Figure 10. Schematic of the slab melting problem in the contact layer.

The slab starts to melt from the bottom, and the applied force squeezes the molten liquid out. After an
initial transient period, a steady state is reached in which the thickness of the contact layer (C), the
temperature and the velocity fields become invariant with time. Bejan [20] and Yoo et al. [1] have
analyzed this problem using lubrication theory. In Bejans [20] model, the thickness of the contact
layer is assumed to be the constant across the slab. The pressure distribution can be derived using
the lubrication theory assumption. For Bejans model to hold, the following conditions must be
satisfied:

dC
! 0 St ! 0: 48
L

Here, the Stefan number St is defined as:

C P T W TM
St : 49
DHM
In the above equation, CP is the specific heat and HM is the latent heat of melting. TW and TM are
the bottom wall temperature and the melting temperature, respectively. To mimic these limits, simu-
lations were performed for a thickness of the contact layer to length ratio (C: L in Figure 10) of 1:100
and at a Stefan number of 0.01. The pressure developed on the bottom wall due to contact melting
after the steady state is reached is compared with the analytical results of Bejan [20] in Figure 11(a).
Two kinds of simulations were performed. In the first case, the contact liquid layer was discretized
into multiple control volumes in the y-direction to resolve the velocity and temperature fields
numerically. In the second case, the integral model derived above is used. Figure 11(a) shows that
at least eight grid points are required to capture the proper pressure variation in the detailed model,
while one control volume is sufficient for the integral model. Figure 11(a) shows that there is a good
match between the detailed model, the integral model and the analytical solution of Bejan [20]. The

Figure 11. The pressure variation on the bottom wall. (a) Grid independence study and comparison of the detailed and integral
model with the analytical results of Bejan [20]. (b) Comparison of the integral and detailed model with the limiting (Bejan [20]
model) and the exact analytical solution (Yoo et al. [1] model).
16 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Figure 12. The comparison of the detailed as well as integral model with the experimental results of Hirata et al. [18].

thickness of the contact layer at the center of the slab (location of x 0 in Figure 10) is a function of
the Stefan number and the downward velocity of the solid. Bejan [20] and Yoo et al. [1] provide ana-
lytical expressions for the variation of the quantity StVsolid(C) 1 as a function of Stefan number. The
detailed and integral model and the analytical results of Bejan [20] and Yoo et al. [1] are shown in
Figure 11(b). The detailed model and the integral model results compare well with the analytical
results of Yoo et al. [1]. The result for the Bejan [20] approaches that of Yoo et al. [1] in the limit
of small Stefan number, which in confirmed in Figure 11(b).

8.2. Melting of octadecane


To further benchmark the integral model proposed in this work, experimental results of Hirata et al.
[18] are simulated. This contact melting problem had been simulated by fully resolving the contact
layer in Section 6.1. Here, the same simulation is performed using the integral model. Figure 12 shows
the comparison of the liquid fraction plotted as a function of nondimensional time as predicted by
detailed and integral model with the experimental results of Hirata et al. [18] for a Stefan number
of 0.0781. The results of the detailed and the integral models agree well with the experimental results.
It was also found that the CPU time for integral model was about 2.5 times less than the detailed
model. Figure 13 shows the comparisons of the melt rates for different Stefan numbers obtained from
the integral model with the experimental results of Hirata et al. [18]. There is a reasonably good agree-
ment of the numerical and the experimental results.

Figure 13. The comparison of the integral model with the experimental results of Hirata et al. [18] for Stefan number of (a) 0.0243,
(b) 0.0781, and (c) 0.139.
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 17

Figure 14. Liquid fraction contours when 20% of lead has melted (a) noncontact melting case, (b) contact melting with Ar of 103,
and (c) contact melting with Ar of 106.

8.3. Comparison of contact and noncontact melting


Simulations are now performed to understand the evolution of the solidliquid interface and the con-
vection currents in a contact melting situation and contrast it with the noncontact melting case. The
situation depicted in Figure 2(a) is considered for the analysis. In the noncontact melting situations,
the solid velocity is set to zero. Figure 14 shows the liquid fraction contours for melting with Stefan
number of 0.1 and Rayleigh number of 106 when 20% of the material has melted. Figure 14(a) shows
the noncontact melting case, while Figure 14(b) and (c) shows the contact melting with Archimedes
number of 103 and 106, respectively. The Prandtl number in all these cases was fixed at 0.0236 (cor-
responding to that of lead). It can be seen in the inset of Figure 14(a) that in noncontact melting both
the upward and the downward velocity vectors are observed on the vertical portions of the solid
liquid interface indicating the presence of counter-current flow. These convection currents tend to
enhance the energy transfer from the walls resulting in higher melting rates in the top portions of
the vertical edge of the solid, making the edges round and sloping. In Figure 14(b) and (c), the liquid
which is generated at the bottom makes its way through the sides of solid and suppresses the setting
up of counter current flow as evident by the presence of only unidirectional vectors in the inset of
Figure 14(b) and (c). This appears to shield the vertical face from melting.
18 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Figure 15. Liquid fraction contours and streamlines when 60% of lead has melted (a) noncontact melting case, (b) contact melting
with Ar of 103, and (c) contact melting with Ar of 106.

Figure 15 shows the liquid fraction contours when 60% of the material has melted. Since the
solid velocity in the contact melting is nonzero, the stream lines in the solid for Figure 15(b)
and (c) are also shown. In noncontact melting case [Figure 15(a)], the bottom of the solid is at
melting temperature while the bottom heated wall is at a higher temperature. This configuration
sets up RayleighBnard convection currents, which are visible as four convection rolls in the bot-
tom of the solid in Figure 15(a). In contact melting, due to the small thickness of the contact layer
and the resulting fluid jet due to melting, convection currents are suppressed. As previously
explained, in noncontact melting case, the natural convection currents in the side of the solid tend
to make the vertical edge rounded and more sloping. This effect can be clearly seen in Figure 15(a),
where the width of the solid becomes progressively smaller near the top. This effect is more pro-
nounced as the thickness of the liquid to the side of the solid increases. In case of contact melting,
the melting rate in the bottom of the solid is more than the melting from the sides. Thus, the thick-
ness of the liquid to the side of the solid remains small during the entire duration of melting. This
reduced thickness, combined with the suppression of the natural convection currents by the jet of
the liquid ejected from the bottom of the solid, renders the side portion of the solid nearly vertical.
In contact and noncontact melting cases, the top portion of the solid (at the melting temperature)
and the top wall (higher than the melting temperature) result in a configuration which does not aid
convection currents. Thus, the melting in the top potion of the solid is small. However, in contact
melting owing to the impingement of the liquid from top, the central portion of the top face melts
at a higher rate, creating a dimple.
Figure 16 shows the liquid fraction contours when 80% of the material has melted. In the noncon-
tact melting case [Figure 16(a)], two RayleighBnard convection rolls are observed at the bottom of

Figure 16. Liquid fraction contours and streamlines when 80% of lead has melted (a) noncontact melting case, (b) contact melting
with Ar of 103, and (c) contact melting with Ar of 106.
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 19

the solid. These rolls tend to carve out a concave surface in the bottom of the solid. The natural
convection currents in the side of the solid further enhance melting in the top of the solid. Contact
melting from the bottom of the solid is enhanced as the Archimedes number increases. Thus, we
observe that the width of the solid in Figure 16(c) is more than that in Figure 16(b).

9. Parametric studies on contact melting


Simulation studies are now performed to study the effect of contact melting on the melting rates.
Contact and noncontact melting studies were performed on substance of Prandtl number of
0.0236 (which corresponds that of lead) in a square cavity. Initially the material is at the melting tem-
perature. All the walls of the cavity are raised to the melting temperature at time t 0. Parametric
studies were performed for a range of Stefan, Rayleigh, and Archimedes number varying as 0.11,
104107, and 104106, respectively. An attempt has been made to correlate the variation of the fraction
of lead melted as a function of time. Figure 17(a) shows the solidliquid interface during a contact
melting process. This suggested modeling of the contact melting process using a mechanistic model
shown in Figure 17(b). The liquid fraction in Figure 17(b) can be written as:

hl
f 1 : 50
L2

By assuming a linear temperature profile, the variation of with time can be obtained from Stefan
condition as:

dD kTW TM 1
: 51
dt D qDHM
If the melting at the top is ignored, then

dh
vsolid : 52
dt
The solid is assumed to be in mechanical equilibrium with the pressure force acting on the contact
layer balancing the weight of the solid. The pressure force can be obtained from lubrication theory of
Bejan [20] as:

mvsolid L3
FP : 53
d3

Figure 17. (a) The solidliquid interface at various times in contact melting and (b) schematic of a mechanistic model for analysis.
20 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

The downward force of the solid after accounting for the buoyancy force can be written as:

F D qS qLM 1 bT TM ghl: 54
Here, LM is the density of the liquid at the melting temperature and T is the average liquid tem-
perature. (thermal diffusivity) and L can be used to nondimensionlize the above equations. By
assuming the dynamics of solid to be quasi steady, the downward body force will be dynamically
balanced by the pressure force. Equating these forces, we obtain:

4v l 2
Ar
hRa h solid 3 : 55
d
Here,
h is the average temperature of the liquid in the melt. Equation (50) can be integrated and
nondimensionlized to obtain the variation of l* with time,
pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
l 1 2 2Sts: 56
The energy balance in the contact layer provides a relation between the thickness of the contact
layer and the solid velocity [1, 20]. This results in

F St
d : 57
vsolid

Using Eqs. (51), (54), (55) and (56), we obtain:


3 0:25
1 dh F St4 Ar hRa
1 pffiffi pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffip
ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi : 58
h 4 ds 2 1 2 2sSts
Integrating the above equation, we can express h* as:
1 43
h 1 H St GSts Ar hRa 4 ; 59

where H(St) and G(St) are functions of St and St. Using 58 and 49, we obtain:
1 43 pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
f 1 1 H St GSts Ar hRa 4 1 2 2Sts : 60

Figure 18. Parity chart for the correlation reported in Eq. (60).
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 21

Equation (59) can be cast in the following form:


1
43 pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
f 1 1 ASta Rab sc Ar 0:5Ra4 1 2 2Sts ; 61

where A, a, b, and c can be obtained using regression. In the above equation, to account for the effect
of natural convection, Rayleigh number dependency is also added. The liquid fraction data were
curve-fitted with coefficients A, a, b, and c having the values of 0.57, 0.69, 0.074, and 0.34, respect-
ively. The parity chart for the same is shown in Figure 18. The mean and Root Mean Square
(RMS) errors were found to be 2.7 and 4.6%, respectively, for the range of Stefan, Rayleigh, and
Archimedes varying as 0.11, 104107, and 104106, respectively.

10. Conclusion
The present work deals with the numerical study of contact melting. The governing equations are cast
in an enthalpy frame work and are solved using the modified enthalpy method. To simulate the
downward motion of the solid, a moving grid methodology is used. The contact layer in the contact
melting is thin. To resolve the contact layer, very fine grids have to be used. An integral model was
proposed, where the contact layer was resolved using higher order polynomials. The integral model
was found to reduce the computation time by a factor of about 2.5. Contact and noncontact melting
were contrasted, and a parametric study was performed and correlation for the fraction of material
melted was developed.

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Appendix A
Geometric interpolation for remeshing
In the remeshing step, the field variables such as velocity, temperature, and the enthalpy have to be
reinitialized in the remeshed control volumes. Since the interface is a surface of discontinuity, care has
to be taken to determine these variables in the remeshed control volumes. Figure A.1(a) shows three
control volumes N, P, and S enclosed with the rectangle EFGH. A solidliquid interface passes
through the control volumes N and P. The centroids of the solid- and liquid-split control volumes
are also shown in Figure A.1(a). In the discussion which follows is a generic variable which
represents the velocity components u, v, and the temperature T.
As the grids move with the velocity Vs downward, the rectangle EFGH will move down by a
distance of Vst. In their new locations, the vertices are now EFGH. In the remeshing step, the
position of the grid is restored back to their original position EFGH by moving them vertically up
by a distance of Vst. Now the discussion is focussed on a cell ABCD through which an interface
IK passes as shown in Figure A1(a). The velocity and the temperature fields are stored at the centroid

Figure A.1. Geometric interpolation during reconstruction (a) start of a time step, (b) end of a time step, and (c) superposition of
the control volumes before and after remeshing.
NUMERICAL HEAT TRANSFER, PART B 23

of solid and the liquid control volumes and the enthalpy values are stored at the centroids of the
unsplit cells. At the end of the time step, the interface is shifted to IK due to the movement of inter-
face on account of melting and grid movement. At this time, the cell ABCD would have occupied the
position ABCD. Since the governing equations are written for a moving control volume, the
variables and h are now available at the new centroids. Using the h distribution, the interface I
K is constructed. Let VI and VII be the volumes obtained as a result of intersection of P with N
and P, respectively. It can be seen from Figure A.1(c) that VI is ABBAA, while VII is ABCD A.
Let fI and fII be the ratio of the volume of liquid to the volume of VI and VII respectively, i.e.,
VABK 0 J 0 A0 A
fI ; A:1
VI
VA0 J 0 Ia0 DA0
fII : A:2
VII
In the above equations, VABKJAA and VA0 J 0 Ia0 DA0 is the volume bound by the vertices ABKJAA and
AJ 0 Ia0 DA; respectively. Having known the solidliquid interface, VABKJAA and VA0 J 0 Ia0 DA0 are obtained
geometrically. Using Eqs. (A.1) and (A.2), fI and fII can be computed. Having obtained fI and fII, the
value of in the solid and the liquid domains of the control volume P can be determined as:

/lN0 fI VI /lS0 fII VII


/lP ; A:3a
fI VI fII VII
/s 1 fI VI /sS0 1 fII VII
/sP N0 : A:3b
1 fI VI 1 fII VII
The enthalpy of the control volume P can be written as:

hS VS hL VL
hP : A:4
VS VL
In the above equation, hS and hL are the solid and the liquid enthalpies, respectively, while VS and
VL are the solid and the liquid volumes, respectively. For the control volume in Figure A.1(c)

hS VS hP0 N0
S VJ 0 B0 CIa0 J 0 hS VJ 0 K 0 B0 J 0 ; A:5a
hL VL hP0
L VJ 0 Ia0 DA0 J 0 hN0
L VABK 0 J 0 A0 A : A:5b
In the above equations, the enthalpies of the volumes bounded by the vertices J 0 B0 CIa0 J 0 and JKBJ
are assigned the solid enthalpies of the control volumes P and N, respectively, while the volumes
bounded by the vertices J 0 Ia0 DA0 J 0 and ABKJAA are assigned the liquid enthalpies of the control
volumes P and N, respectively. Using Eqs. (A.4) and (A.5), the enthalpy of the control volume P
in Figure A.1 is determined.

Appendix B
Representing the grid velocity in terms of volume change
In this section, the normal interface velocity on the solidliquid interface is represented in terms of
the change in the volume V* in Figure 5. It may be noted that the transport variable represents
temperature and the x- and y-components of the velocity. On the solidliquid interface, the
temperature equals the melting temperature, while the x-component of the velocity is zero and the
y-component of velocity equals the downward velocity of solid. Thus on the solidliquid interface
does not spatially vary. If I is the value of on the solidliquid interface, then it can be removed out
of the integral over XY in Eq. (19). This integral can be written as:
24 N. GUDIBANDE AND K. IYER

Z
I /I VS ^dA:
VI n B:1
XY

A space-conservation equation can be written for the control volume YBCDXY in Figure 5. The
space conservation equation relates the change in the volume YBCDXY due to the motion of the grids
YB, CD, and XY:
Z Z Z
d
dV ^dA
Vg n ^dA 0:
VI n B:2
dt
V YBDC XY

Let Vs denote the velocity of the solid. Then,


Z Z
^dA
VS n ^dA 0:
VS n B:3
YBDC XY

Using Eqs. (B.2) and (B.3),


Z Z Z
d
dV VS ^dA
VI n VS ^dA 0:
Vg n B:4
dt
V XY YBDC

Multiplying Eq. (B.4) by I and using it in Eq. (B.1) result is


0 1
Z Z
d
I /I @ dV VS V g n ^dAA: B:5
dt
V YBDC

Substituting for I in Eq. (20) using Eq. (B.5) results in


Z Z Z
d
/dV / V Vg n ^dA ^dA
Cr/ n
dt
V AC AC AI
0 1
Z Z Z B:6
Bd C
^dA /I @
S/ n dV V S Vg n^dAA:
dt
V V AC

In the above equation, Ac is the sum of the sides YB DC XD BC, while AI is the side XY.

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