PUFoam: a novel open-source CFD solver for the simulation of expanding and reacting polyurethane foams
In this work a transient three-dimensional mathematical model is formulated and validated for the simulation of polyurethane (PU) foams. The model is based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and is coupled with a population balance equation (PBE) to describe the evolution of the gas bubbles/cells within the PU foam. The front face of the expanding foam is monitored on the basis of the volume-of-fluid (VOF) method using a compressible solver available in OpenFOAM version 3.0.1. The solver is additionally supplemented to include the PBE, solved with the quadrature method of moments (QMOM), the polymerization kinetics, an adequate rheological model and a simple model for the foam thermal conductivity. The new solver is labelled as PUFoam and is, for the first time in this work, validated for 12 different mixing-cup experiments. Comparison of the time evolution of the predicted and experimentally measured density and temperature of the PU foam shows the potentials and limitations of the approach.