IHFOAM is a newly developed three-dimensional numerical two-phase flow solver specially designed to simulate coastal, offshore and hydraulic engineering processes. Its core is based on OpenFOAM®, a very advanced multiphysics model, widely used in the industry.
What makes IHFOAM 1.4 different from the rest of solvers is a wide collection of boundary conditions which handle wave generation and active absorption at the boundaries.
These specific boundary conditions allow to generate any type of wave in a 3D domain, from the most simple regular waves (Stokes I, II and V, streamfunction...) to complex, real and fully 3D irregular (random) directional sea states.
Active wave absorption has been programmed to work simultaneously with the wave generation to absorb any incident waves on the boundaries. These features do not increase the computational cost noticeably, and there is no need to extend the numerical domain, as it occurs with relaxation zones. Moreover, they allow for longer and more stable simulations without increasing water level or agitation.
Currently the model can be applied to solve any impervious structures, both static and dynamic (floating structures). Some examples that have been simulated include: wave interaction with obstacles as vertical breakwaters, ships, offshore foundations, dam and spillway simulations, open channel flow...
The simulations can be at laboratory or prototype scale, for which domains over 1 square kilometer have been calculated. Needless to say, a thorough validation with well-known laboratory tests has been carried out and is published in Coastal Engineering.
IHFOAM 2.0 (still under development) can also solve two-phase flow within porous media by means of the VARANS equations. This new approach will extend the calculation range for any type of coastal structures (e.g. rubble mound breakwaters).
Furthermore, new uses are being developed every day, as solving the interaction of the fluid with vegetation fields, considering either the average properties or the coupled movement of individual plants.