OpenCFD commence testing OpenFOAM® 1.5beta

OpenCFD commence testing OpenFOAM®  1.5beta

19th May 2008

OpenCFD are pleased to announce that they have begun beta testing of version 1.5 of their OpenFOAM software. Most of the developments for this release are in: new applications, e.g. for multiphase flow and cavitation, buoyancy-flow and heat transfer, high speed flows and even molecular dynamics; new utilities, e.g. for meshing and case monitoring; and, new modelling, e.g. in Lagrangian particle tracking, radiation and rotating frames of reference.

New solvers (applications)

  • rhoCentralFoam: solver for high-speed, viscous, compressible flows using non-oscillatory, central-upwind schemes.
  • interDyMFoam: solver for 2 incompressible, isothermal, immiscible fluids using a VOF phase-fraction based interface capturing approach, with optional mesh motion and mesh topology changes including adaptive mesh (un)refinement. Useful for simulations such as tank filling, sloshing (using solid body motion) and slamming (using the mesh motion solver) and other large-scale applications that benefit from the efficiency gain of adaptive mesh (un)refinement of the interface.
  • compressibleInterFoam: solver for 2 compressible, isothermal, immiscible fluids using a volume of fluid (VOF) phase-fraction approach for interface-capturing. The momentum and other fluid properties are of the “mixture” and a single momentum equation is solved. Turbulence is modelled using a run-time selectable incompressible LES model.
  • interPhaseChangeFoam: solver for 2 incompressible, isothermal, immiscible fluids with phase-change, e.g. cavitation. Uses VOF interface capturing, with momentum and other fluid properties described for the “mixture” and a single momentum equation is solved. The set of phase-change models provided are designed to simulate cavitation but other mechanisms of phase-change are supported within this solver framework.
  • rasCavitatingFoam: transient cavitation solver using a barotropic compressibility model, with RAS turbulence.
  • lesCavitatingFoam: transient cavitation solver using a barotropic compressibility model, with LES turbulence.
  • chtMultiRegionFoam: solver that couples conjugate heat transfer in a solid to a buoyancy-driven flow simulation.
  • PDRFoam: compressible premixed/partially-premixed turbulent combustion solver that includes porosity/distributed resistance (PDR) modelling to handle regions containing solid blockages which cannot be resolved by the mesh. Requires the PDR fields.
  • lesBuoyantFoam: transient solver for buoyant, turbulent flow of compressible fluids for ventilation and heat-transfer. Turbulence is modelled using a run-time selectable compressible LES model.
  • rhoPimpleFoam: transient solver for turbulent flow of compressible fluids for ventilation and heat-transfer. Uses the flexible PIMPLE (PISO-SIMPLE) solution for time-resolved and pseudo-transient simulations.
  • buoyantSimpleRadiationFoam: steady-state solver for buoyant, turbulent flow of compressible fluids with radiation, for ventilation and heat-transfer.
  • rhoTurbTwinParcelFoam: transient solver for compressible, turbulent flow with two thermo-clouds.
  • SRFSimpleFoam: demonstration solver based on simpleFoam that incorporates the SRF extensions (see below) for rotating flows.
  • mdFOAM: general purpose molecular dynamics solver to simulate atoms in arbitrary shaped domains and average atomic/molecular quantities to the mesh to create field data.

Developments to utilities

  • snappyHexMesh: generates split-hex meshes automatically from triangulated (STL) surface geometries. The mesh approximately conforms to the surface by iteratively refining a starting mesh and morphing the resulting split-hex mesh to the surface. An optional phase will shrink back the resulting mesh and insert cell layers. It has a flexible specification of mesh refinement level and robust surface handling with a pre-specified final mesh quality. It runs in parallel with a load balancing step every iteration.
  • extrude2DMesh: extrudes 2D meshes into a 3D mesh. 2D meshes are described by faces with 2 points, so can be used in combination with 2D meshes converted with ccm26ToFoam
  • couplePatches functionality integrated into createPatch, which optionally synchronises (“couples”) points and faces of coupled (cyclic, processor) patches.
  • splitMeshRegions: extended to split multi-zone meshes, e.g. defined through cellZones, into separate meshes.
  • foamToVTK converter, decomposePar, reconstructPar and mapFields: extended to include support for multiple particle clouds in parallel processing.
  • execFlowFunctionObjects: executes functionObjects as a postprocessing activity, e.g. probes, sampling, force calculation.
  • applyBoundaryLayer: pre-processing utility to apply 1/7th power-law boundary layers at walls, starting from uniform or potential flow solutions.
  • changeDictionary: makes batch changes to OpenFOAM input files, e.g. to change BC’s of field files.
  • molConfig: preprocessing utility for molecular dynamics cases. Fills zones of a mesh with single crystal lattices of specified structure, density, orientantion, alignment and temperature.

Migration from ParaView 2.4 to ParaView 3.x

  • Rewritten OpenFOAM Reader Module for version 3, a major redesign of ParaView.
  • New features include viewing patch names, reading of Lagrangian data, handling of cell, face and point sets, multiple views.

Model development

  • Overhauled lagrangian library to support multiple clouds.
  • New lagrangianIntermediate library incorporating a hierarchy of parcel and cloud types, accommodating kinematic, thermodynamic and reacting applications, including coupling to the new radiation library. Sub-models are added at the relevant level of physics, e.g.:
    • kinematic: injection, wall interaction, drag, dispersion;
    • thermo: heat transfer;
    • reacting: reacting composition, mass transfer, surface reactions.
  • New single rotating frame of reference (SRF) library for rotating flow applications, e.g. turbomachinery.
  • New radiation library including the P1 model and associated Marshak boundary conditions for incident radiation.
  • New displacementInterpolation motion solver for flexible mesh scaling.
  • New molecularDynamics Lagrangian library to calculate intermolecular forces between spherically symmetrical monatomic species in arbitrary geometries.

New functionObjects to aid common monitoring and postprocessing activities

  • forces: calculate the force and moment on a patch or set of patches, e.g. to calculate the lift, drag and moment of an object in the flow.
  • forceCoeffs: calculate the normalised force and moment on a patch or set of patches, e.g. to calculate the lift, drag and moment coefficients of an object in the flow.
  • fieldAverage: calculate field arithmetic mean and prime-squared averages for a list of fields.

Improvements to boundary conditions

  • Generalised jumpCyclic type: cyclic condition with an additional prescribed jump in value.
  • fan type: specialisation of jumpCyclic, applying a prescribed jump in pressure to simulate a fan within a mesh.
  • Generalised advective outflow boundary condition based on solving D ∕Dt (ψ, U ) = 0  \relax \special {t4ht= at the boundary.
  • Additional turbulent flow inlet to specify mixing length and frequency.


  • Argument-free command execution, e.g typing “icoFoam” without root and case directory arguments.
  • Extended time command line options.
  • Many enhancements to dictionary including macro substitution, optional merging and default/override behaviour, enhanced “include” file handling and the framework to support function evaluation.
  • Cross-links between applications and Doxygen documentation with the -doc argument.
  • Non-blocking, non-buffered, parallel transfers with potential scaling benefits for larger number of processors.