A Mathematical and Numerical Framework for the Simulation of Oscillatory Buoyancy and Marangoni Convection in Rectangular Cavities with Variable Cross Section

Part of the Computational Methods in Applied Sciences book series (COMPUTMETHODS, volume 50)


It is often assumed that two-dimensional flow can be used to model with an acceptable degree of approximation the preferred mode of instability of thermogravitational flows and thermocapillary flows in laterally heated shallow cavities for a relatively wide range of substances and conditions (essentially pure or compound semiconductor materials in liquid state for the case of buoyancy convection and molten oxide materials or salts and a variety of organic liquids for the case of Marangoni convection). In line with the general spirit of this book, such assumption is challenged by comparing two-dimensional and three-dimensional results expressly produced for such a purpose. More precisely, we present a general mathematical and numerical framework specifically developed to (1) explore the sensitivity of such phenomena to geometrical “irregularities” affecting the liquid container and (2) take advantage of a reduced number of spatial degrees of freedom when this is possible. Sudden variations in the shape of the container are modelled as a single backward-facing or forward-facing step on the bottom wall or a combination of both features. The resulting framework is applied to a horizontally extended configuration with undeformable free top liquid-gas surface (representative of the Bridgman crystal growth technique) and for two specific fluids pertaining to the above-mentioned categories of materials, namely molten silicon (Pr  <  1) and silicone oil (Pr  >  1. The assumption of flat interface is justified on the basis of physical reasoning and a scaling analysis. The overall model proves successful in providing useful insights into the stability behaviour of these fluids and the departure from the approximation of two-dimensional flow. It is shown that the presence of a topography in the bottom wall can lead to a variety of situations with significant changes in the emerging waveforms.


Buoyancy convection Marangoni convection Flow instability Numerical framework 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

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