Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich


A Multiscale Approach to Mesh-based Surface Tension Flows

N. Thuerey, C. Wojtan, M. Gross, G. Turk

Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles, USA, July 25-29, 2010), ACM Transactions on Graphics, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 48:1-48:10
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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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    title = {A Multiscale Approach to Mesh-based Surface Tension Flows},
    author = {Nils Th{\"{u}}rey and Chris Wojtan and Markus Gross and Greg Turk},
    journal = {ACM Trans. on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH)},
    number = {3},
    volume = {29},
    year = {2010}
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