Learning how to use free surface flows in OpenFOAM® 4.1

Instructor: Victoria Korchagova, ISP RAS (Russia).

Training type: Intermediate.

Session type: Lecture with examples.

Software stack: OpenFOAM 4.1, OpenFOAM 3.0.x.

Developers of this session: V. Korchagova, Russia.

Development team website: unicfd.ru

Presentation language: English.


Due to several changes made in OpenFOAM 2.3 and newer versions, this session aims to teach you how to setup your cases accordingly to run with interFoam.

This will be a hybrid type of session: the training track will be presented as a lecture with examples, which consists of two parts. The first stage is the discussion on internal structure of interFoam solver: governing equations and approximation techniques. The second stage is the training session where the updated “Spillway” tutorial (see figure below) and Rayleigh-Taylor instability (see figure after “Spillway” tutorial) will be presented.



The structure of the training course is the following:

  1. Introduction: why free-surface flows are so interesting for researchers and engineers; key point of training course – boundary conditions in different versions of OpenFOAM.
  2. Overview of interFoam internal structure.
  3. Description of the example case for the training course – “Spillway”.
  4. Steps to run “Spillway” tutorial (see results in figures below): (a) blockMesh utility and “blockMeshDict” structure; (b) snappyHexMesh and extrudeMesh utilities; (c) boundary conditions setup (volume fraction/velocity/pressure); (d) “fvSchemes” and “fvSolution” setup; (e) running interFoam; results comparision from different versions of OpenFOAM.
  5. Running Rayleigh-Taylor instability case (see results in figures below).
  6. Conclusions and discussion.



After running simulation, we will obtain evolution of hydrodynamic fields (velocity and pressure and liquid volume fraction) for RT and Spillway cases – see animation.

The attendees will be prompted to do all the steps themselves during the session. For reference, link to the wiki page of the original “Spillway” tutorial.

Materials of this tutorial are located at git archive and can be downloaded from github.com:

For OpenFOAM 4.1 at https://github.com/unicfdlab/TrainingTracks/tree/master/OpenFOAM/freeSurfaceFlows-0F4.1

For OpenFOAM 3.0.0 at https://github.com/unicfdlab/TrainingTracks/tree/master/OpenFOAM/freeSurfaceFlows-0F3.0.0