The finite-volume method in computational rheology

A.M. Afonso, Monica Oliveira, P.J. Oliveira, M.A. Alves, F.T. Pinho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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The finite volume method (FVM) is widely used in traditional computational fluid
dynamics (CFD), and many commercial CFD codes are based on this technique which is typically less demanding in computational resources than finite element methods (FEM). However, for historical reasons, a large number of Computational Rheology codes are based on FEM.
There is no clear reason why the FVM should not be as successful as finite element based techniques in Computational Rheology and its applications, such as polymer processing or, more recently, microfluidic systems using complex fluids. This chapter describes the major advances on this topic since its inception in the early 1990’s, and is organized as follows. In the next section, a review of the major contributions to computational rheology using finite volume techniques is carried out, followed by a detailed explanation of the methodology developed by the authors. This section includes recent developments and methodologies
related to the description of the viscoelastic constitutive equations used to alleviate the high-Weissenberg number problem, such as the log-conformation formulation and the recent kernel-conformation technique. At the end, results of numerical calculations are presented for the well-known benchmark flow in a 4:1 planar contraction to ascertain the quality of the predictions by this method.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFinite-Volume Methods - Powerful Means of Engineering Design
EditorsRadostina Petrova
PagesCh 7, pp 141-170
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2012


  • finite volume method
  • computational rheology
  • viscoelastic constitutive equations


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