Surfactants play a critical role in the physics of paint and coating formulations, affecting key rheological properties such as viscosity, yield stress, and thixotropy. This paper proposes a new three-dimensional phase-field model that uses the cumulant lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) to simulate soluble surfactants. Although current phase-field models commonly use Langmuir's relationship, they cannot calculate interfacial tension analytically, or the LBM models used are unstable when viscosities are low. However, the proposed method overcomes these limitations through two main features. First, the main parameters for modeling and controlling the surfactant's strength and interaction with other phases are directly obtained from a given initial interfacial tension and bulk surfactant, eliminating the need for trial-and-error simulations. Second, a new equilibrium distribution function in the moment space that includes diagonal and off diagonal elements of the pressure tensor is used to minimize Galilean invariance violation. Additionally, there is no need to use an external force to recover multiphase flows, which could break mass conservation. Furthermore, this method has significant potential for parallelization since only one neighbor's cell is used for discretization. The method shows Langmuir relation behavior and is validated with analytical solutions for various interfacial tensions and surfactant concentrations. Moreover, the paper demonstrates the influence of interfacial tension and surfactants on spurious velocities, indicating the method's stability at low viscosities. The dynamics of droplets in the presence of the surfactants is studied in spinodal decomposition and under various external forces. The method accurately simulates the breaking-up and coalescence for these cases. Furthermore, the method successfully simulates the breakage of a liquid thread at a high viscosity ratio.
A new three dimensional cumulant phase field lattice Boltzmann method to study soluble surfactant
Ehsan Kian Far, Mohsen Gorakifard, Mojtaba Goraki Fard; A new three dimensional cumulant phase field lattice Boltzmann method to study soluble surfactant. Physics of Fluids 1 May 2023; 35 (5): 053338. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0150083
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