- A mathematical analysis of foam films (2004)
- In the filling process of a car tank, the formation of foam plays an unwanted role, as it may prevent the tank from being completely filled or at least delay the filling. Therefore it is of interest to optimize the geometry of the tank using numerical simulation in such a way that the influence of the foam is minimized. In this dissertation, we analyze the behaviour of the foam mathematically on the mezoscopic scale, that is for single lamellae. The most important goals are on the one hand to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction of the relevant physical effects, on the other hand to obtain a model for the simulation of the decay of a lamella which can be integrated in a global foam model. In the first part of this work, we give a short introduction into the physical properties of foam and find that the Marangoni effect is the main cause for its stability. We then develop a mathematical model for the simulation of the dynamical behaviour of a lamella based on an asymptotic analysis using the special geometry of the lamella. The result is a system of nonlinear partial differential equations (PDE) of third order in two spatial and one time dimension. In the second part, we analyze this system mathematically and prove an existence and uniqueness result for a simplified case. For some special parameter domains the system can be further simplified, and in some cases explicit solutions can be derived. In the last part of the dissertation, we solve the system using a finite element approach and discuss the results in detail.