The ghost fluid method for OpenFOAM: A comparative study in marine context

Petteri Peltonen*, Pekka Kanninen, Erkki Laurila, Ville Vuorinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


The open source CFD library OpenFOAM is utilized to implement the ghost fluid method (GFM). The implemented solver GFMFoam is compared against the standard volume-of-fluid (VOF) solver interFoam in OpenFOAM. For both VOF solvers, the scalar transport equation is solved similarly but the discretization of the momentum and continuity equations differ between GFMFoam and interFoam. The two methods are compared in four test cases with mild surface deformation. First, the GFM implementation is validated. Second, the results on a 2 d interface shear layer highlight the importance of the viscous term treatment in the GFM. Third, the model scale Wiggley hull results indicate that the GFMFoam is more sensitive to the grid aspect ratio and resolution than interFoam but the viscous resistance is better predicted. Also, GFMFoam is shown to be less sensitive to numerical ventilation than interFoam. Fourth, the results from the Hamburg Test Case indicate a total resistance prediction within 1% when evaluated against reference data at model scale and 10% at full scale. Based on the steady state test cases of the present study, GFMFoam has moderate benefits over interFoam but it does not clearly outperform interFoam.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108007
Number of pages18
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date25 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • CFD
  • Free surface flow
  • Ghost fluid method
  • Marine
  • VOF


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