LBflow

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Site last updated
30th June 2011

Introduction

The lattice Boltzmann method is a computational fluid dynamics technique. An theoretical introduction to the method is presented in the LB theory pages here. The method is particularly well-suited to flow problems that are geometrically complex, such as flow in porous media, or that are physically complex, involving multiple phases or chemical reactions. Such flow problems are ubiquitous throughout the geosciences.

LBflow is a modular, extensible numerical framework for lattice Boltzmann simulations that has been designed with geophysical applications in mind. Whilst LBflow is a sophisticated and efficient fluid dynamic simulation package, it is also easy to use and requires no programming experience or specialist computational fluid dynamic training. As such, LBflow can be used as a 'virtual laboratory' - offering a practical computational methodology that can augment or replace conventional laboratory investigation.

Visualization and analysis of simulation data generated using LBflow is facilitated by the sister programme LBview. LBview also provides an interface to LBflow which allows parameters to be steered by the user at runtime. This feature allows users to "twist the dial" whilst a simulation is running, allowing the sort of intuitive, interactive exploration of parameter space that is typical of conventional laboratory investigations.

Lattice Boltzmann algorithms have been published for a wide range of materials and physical systems, from simple Newtonian liquids, to rheologically complex multiphase suspensions. LBflow's modular design allows advanced users to develop and share modules which encapsulate these algorithms, adding greater functionality.

Obtaining LBflow

If think you might be interested in using LBflow, please explore this section of the site using the links to the left. The examples page presents several detailed, practical examples of the application of LBflow. You can also download LBview and example datasets.

A copy of the core executable of LBflow can be requested using the form on the download page. Requests for academic use will always be granted, free of charge, subject to certain conditions regarding redistribution and collaboration / acknowledgement.

Existing modules are freely available for download. If you wish to become involved in the development of further modules, or of the core code, please contact EWL