Practical Shape Optimization of a Levitation Device for Single Droplets.



  • E. Gross-Hardt
  • E. Slusanschi
  • H. M. Bücker
  • A. Pfennig
  • C. H. Bischof


The rigorous optimization of the geometry of a glass cell with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is performed. The cell will be used for non-invasive nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements on a single droplet levitated in a counter current of liquid in a conical tube. The objective function of the optimization describes the stability of the droplet position required for long-period NMR measurements. The direct problem and even more the optimization problem require an efficient method to handle the high numerical complexity implied. Here, the flow equations are solved two-dimensionally and in steady state with the finite-element code SEPRAN for a spherical droplet with ideally mobile interface. The optimization is performed by embedding the CFD solver SEPRAN in the optimization environment EFCOSS. The underlying derivatives are computed using the automatic differentiation software ADIFOR. An overall concept for the optimization process is developed, requiring a robust scheme for the discretization of the geometries as well as a model for horizontal stability in the axially symmetric case. The numerical results show that the previously employed measuring cell described by Schröter is less suitable to maintain a stable droplet position than the new cell.