An iterative interface reconstruction method for PLIC in general convex grids as part of a Coupled Level Set Volume of Fluid solver

Reconstructing the interface within a cell, based on volume fraction and normal direction, is a key part of multiphase flow solvers which make use of piecewise linear interface calculation (PLIC) such as the Coupled Level Set Volume of Fluid (CLSVOF) method. In this paper, we present an iterative method for interface reconstruction (IR) in general convex cells based on tetrahedral decomposition. By splitting the cell into tetrahedra prior to IR the volume of the truncated polyhedron can be calculated much more rapidly than using existing clipping and capping methods. In addition the root finding algorithm is designed to take advantage of the nature of the relationship between volume fraction and interface position by using a combination of Newton's and Muller's methods. In stand-alone tests of the IR algorithm on single cells with up to 20 vertices the proposed method was found to be 2 times faster than an implementation of an existing analytical method, while being easy to implement. It was also found to be 3.4–11.8 times faster than existing iterative methods using clipping and capping and combined with Brent's root finding method. Tests were then carried out of the IR method as part of a CLSVOF solver. For a sphere deformed by a prescribed velocity field the proposed method was found to be up to 33% faster than existing iterative methods. For simulations including the solution of the velocity field the maximum speed up was found to be approximately 52% for a case where 12% of cells lie on the interface. Analysis of the full simulation CPU time budget also indicates that while the proposed method has produced a considerable speed-up, further gains due to increasing the efficiency of the IR method are likely to be small as the IR step now represents only a small proportion of the run time.