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The single-phase fluid-flow interfaces are based on the Navier-Stokes equations, which in their

most general form read

Equation 4-5 is the continuity equation and represents the conservation of mass. Equation 4-6 is

a vector equation and represents the conservation of momentum. Equation 4-7 describes the

conservation of energy, formulated in terms of temperature. This is an intuitive formulation that

facilities specification of boundary conditions.

3.1.1

Figure 1 Finite control volume fixed in space (Jiyuan, Yeoh and Liu 2008)

Mass Conservation

By the conservation of mass, matter cannot be created or destroyed. Figure shows an arbitrary

control volume V fixed in space and time. A fluid is considered to be moving through the fixed

control volume and flows across the control surface. For mass conservation, the rate of change of

mass within the control volume is equivalent to the mass flux crossing the surface S of volume V.

d

dV V ndS

dt V

S

[3.1]

By Gausss divergence theorem, the volume integral of a divergence of a vector is equated to an

area integral over the surface that defines the volume. This is shown in equation 3.2.

d

divV dV V ndS

dt V

S

[3.2]

The surface integral of equation 3.1 can be replaced by the volume integral of equation 3.2. This

gives

( V ) dV 0

t

[3.3]

( V ) divV

where

Recall:

(pronounced del) by

j k

x

y

z

P, Q, R

with F. So if F =

, then

P Q R

, ,

P , Q, R

x y z

x y z

divF =

Notice that divF is a scalar.

Equation 3.3 is valid for any size of volume V. This implies that

( V ) 0

t

[3.4]

is the fluid velocity which can be described by the local velocity Cartesian components u, v

and w. The local velocity components are functions of location (x, y, z) and time (t).

Equation 3.4 is the mass conservation equation for fluid flow which for a Cartesian coordinate

system can be expressed as

u v w

0

t

x

y

z

[3.5]

Expanding equation 3.5 using the chain rule and grouping the density terms gives

u v w

0

u

v

w

t

x

y

z

x y z

Or

D / Dt

u v w

D

0

Dt

x y z

[3.6]

[3.7]

D / Dt

is the substantial derivative in Cartesian coordinates.

of density following a moving fluid element (Jiyuan, Yeoh and Liu 2008, 65-66).

3.1.2

Force Balance

with

u

v

w

Dt

t

x

y

z

[3.8]

is

u

v

w

Dt

t

x

y

z

[3.9]

Equation 3.9 represents the non-conservation form of the rate of change of the variable property

Figure 2 Surface forces acting on the infinitesimal control volume for the velocity

component u. Deformed fluid element due to the action of the surface forces

(Jiyuan, Yeoh and Liu 2008)

Figure 14 shows an infinitesimal control volume fluid element. The sum of the forces acting on

the fluid element, by Newtons second law of motion, is equal to the product of its mass and

acceleration. Newtons second law can be applied along the x, y and z directions. The x

component of Newtons second law is given by

ma x

[3.10]

Fx and ax are the force and acceleration along the x direction. The acceleration ax is the time rate

change of u, given by its substantial derivative. Thus,

ax

Du

Dt

[3.11]

xyz

The mass of the fluid element, m is

Du

xyz

Dt

[3.12]

The force on a moving fluid element is due to two sources, body forces and surface forces. The

various forms of body forces that may affect the rate of change of fluid momentum include

gravity, centrifugal, Coriolis and electromagnetic forces.

Figure 14 shows that the surface forces for the velocity component u, that cause deformation of

yx

xx

the fluid element are due to the normal stress

zx

and

acting on the

Substituting the sum of the surface forces on the fluid element and the time rate change of u from

equation 3.12 into equation 3.10, the x-momentum equation becomes

Du xx yx zx

Fxbody

Dt

x

y

z

forces

[3.13]

Similarly, the y-momentum and z-momentum equations are

Dv xy yy zy

Fybody

Dt

x

y

z

forces

[3.14]

Dw xz yz zz

Fzbody

Dt

x

y

z

forces

[3.15]

xx yy

zz

The normal stresses

,

and

are due to the pressure p and normal viscous stress

xx yy

zz

components

,

and acting perpendicular to the control volume. The remaining terms

contain the tangential viscous stress components. In many fluid flows, a suitable model for the

viscous stresses is introduced. They are usually a function of the local deformation rate (or strain

rate) that is expressed in terms of the velocity gradients (Jiyuan, Yeoh and Liu 2008, 75-78).

To close the equation system Equation 4-5 through Equation 4-7, some constitutive relations are

needed. A common relation is derived by assuming that the fluid is Newtonian. Together with

Stokes assumption, the viscous stress tensor becomes:

(SI unit: Pas) is allowed to depend on the thermodynamic state but not

on the velocity field. All gases and many liquids can be considered Newtonian. Examples of nonNewtonian fluids are honey, mud, blood, liquid metals, and most polymer solutions. For

modeling of flows of non-Newtonian fluids, use the Non-Newtonian Flow interface (see NonNewtonian Flow). All other fluid-flow interfaces use stress tensors based on Equation 4-9.

3.1.3

Navier-Stokes Equation

A three dimensional case of constant property fluid flow will be considered. Constant property

fluid flow implies that the density is constant and body forces, particularly due to gravity are not

considered in the equations.

By applying the continuity equation and including the stress-strain relationships, the momentum

equations can be reduced to following.

x direction

[3.16]

y direction

v

v

v

v

1 p

2v

2v

2v

u v w

2 2 2

t

x

y

z

y

x

y

z

[3.17]

z direction

w

w

w

w

1 p

2w

2w

2w

u

v

w

2 2 2

t

x

y

z

z

x

y

z

[3.18]

Equations 3.16 to 3.18 derived from Newtons second law, where v is the kinematic viscosity (v

= / ) describe the conservation of momentum in the fluid flow and is also known as the

Navier-Stokes equations (Jiyuan, Yeoh and Liu 2008,77-78).

The single-phase fluid low user interfaces in COMSOL Multiphysics are based on the NavierStokes equations. The Navier-Stokes equations solved by default in all the single phase flow

interfaces are the compressible formulation of continuity (equation 3.4) and the momentum

equations (equations 3.13 to 3.15). (COMSOL 2013, 83-87)

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