dsmcFoam+: an OpenFOAM based direct simulation Monte Carlo solver

C. White, M.K. Borg, T.J. Scanlon, S.M. Longshaw, B. John, D.R. Emerson, J.M. Reese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)
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dsmcFoam+ is a direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) solver for rarefied gas dynamics, implemented within the OpenFOAM software framework, and parallelised with MPI. It is open-source and released under the GNU General Public License in a publicly available software repository that includes detailed documentation and tutorial DSMC gas flow cases. This release of the code includes many features not found in standard dsmcFoam, such as molecular vibrational and electronic energy modes, chemical reactions, and subsonic pressure boundary conditions. Since dsmcFoam+ is designed entirely within OpenFOAM’s C++ object-oriented framework, it benefits from a number of key features: the code emphasises extensibility and flexibility so it is aimed first and foremost as a research tool for DSMC, allowing new models and test cases to be developed and tested rapidly. All DSMC cases are as straightforward as setting up any standard OpenFOAM case, as dsmcFoam+ relies upon the standard OpenFOAM dictionary based directory structure. This ensures that useful pre- and post-processing capabilities provided by OpenFOAM remain available even though the fully Lagrangian nature of a DSMC simulation is not typical of most OpenFOAM applications. We show that dsmcFoam+ compares well to other well-known DSMC codes and to analytical solutions in terms of benchmark results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-43
Number of pages22
JournalComputer Physics Communications
Early online date24 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2018


  • dsmcFoam+
  • OpenFOAM
  • direct simulation Monte Carlo
  • DSMC
  • hypersonics
  • nano-scale
  • micro-scale
  • rarefied gas dynamics


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