Numerical simulations of three-dimensional foam by the immersed boundary method

Yongsam Kim, Ming Chih Lai, Charles S. Peskin, Yunchang Seol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we extend (Kim et al., 2010 [13]) to the three-dimensional dry foam case, i.e., a foam in which most of the volume is attributed to its gas phase. Dry foam dynamics involves the interaction between a gas and a collection of thin liquid-film internal boundaries that partitions the gas into discrete cells or bubbles. The liquid-film boundaries are flexible, contract under the influence of surface tension, and are permeable to the gas which moves across them by diffusion at a rate proportional to the local pressure difference across the boundary. Such problems are conventionally studied by assuming that the pressure is uniform within each bubble. Here, we introduce instead an immersed boundary method that takes into account the non-equilibrium fluid mechanics of the gas. To model gas diffusion across the internal liquid-film boundaries, we allow normal slip between the boundary and the gas at a velocity proportional to the (normal) force generated by the boundary surface tension. We implement this method in the three-dimensional framework, and test it by verifying the 3D generalization of the von Neumann relation, which governs the coarsening of a three-dimensional dry foam.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014


  • Capillary-driven motion
  • Foam
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Permeability
  • Von Neumann relation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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