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A Multiscale Approach to Mesh-based Surface Tension Flows

by nuch

SIGGRAPH 2010 paper: A Multiscale Approach to Mesh-based Surface Tension Flows
Nils Thürey, Chris Wojtan, Markus Gross, and Greg Turk

Abstract: We present an approach to simulate flows driven by surface tension based on triangle meshes. Our method consists of two simulation layers: the first layer is an Eulerian method for simulating surface tension forces that is free from typical strict time step constraints. The second simulation layer is a Lagrangian finite element method that simulates sub-grid scale wave details on the fluid surface. The surface wave simulation employs an unconditionally stable, symplectic time integration method that allows for a high propagation speed due to strong surface tension. Our approach can naturally separate the grid- and sub-grid scales based on a volume-preserving mean curvature flow. As our model for the sub-grid dynamics enforces a local conservation of mass, it leads to realistic pinch off and merging effects. In addition to this method for simulating dynamic surface tension effects, we also present an efficient non-oscillatory approximation for capturing damped surface tension behavior. These approaches allow us to efficiently simulate complex phenomena associated with strong surface tension, such as Rayleigh-Plateau instabilities and crown splashes, in a short amount of time.

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