CFD Simulation of Liquid Sloshing in Tank

(19 votes, average 4.95 out of 5)
Category : Industrial Projects
Project Code : EDU-PRJ-PG-CFD-001
Project Subscribers : 11



Industrial Projects 7.0/10 Automobile / Transportation

Liquid sloshing in a tank refers to the movement of liquid inside a tank which is, typically, also undergoing motion. Strictly speaking, the liquid must have a free surface to constitute a slosh dynamics problem, where the dynamics of the liquid can interact with the container to alter the system dynamics significantly.

In past the liquid sloshing in a tank has been studied intensively because of its fundamental significance in flow physics and its practical importance in a wide range of applications such as in ships, satellites, rockets, trucks and even stationary petroleum containers. For example, Automobile industries are interested to study liquid sloshing to reduce noise levels. Knowing the free surface movements inside the fuel tank helps to predict the chances of air getting trapped in the fuel supply line. Also gives an idea on the required changes in the design to ensure continuous fuel supply to the engine, thus avoiding engine shutdown.

It is well known that the hydrodynamic load exerted by liquid sloshing can cause severe structural damage. Effect of sloshing can cause capsizing in ships i.e., it can turn the ship on its side or upside down. This vehicle imbalance can be cause on tanker trucks, carrying liquid tanks too.

One of the passive devices to control liquid flow and suppress liquid sloshing is the baffle installed inside a tank, and it has attracted the attention of many researchers. Baffles are effective means of preventing or minimizing sloshing intensity. CFD plays a critical role even in design of such baffles and deciding location of the baffles.

Learning and Skill Sets Required

The execution of this project demands the following theoretical knowledge:

  • Fluid Dynamics: CFD is based on Fluid Dynamics equations. Sloshing includes movement of fuel and air inside the tank. It is very important for student to be comfortable with governing equations of fluid dynamics to do CFD simulation and interpretation of CFD results.
  • Theory of Sloshing Dynamics: Understanding the governing flow physics is important to simulate it using CFD. Sloshing Dynamics is the physics behind the liquid sloshing inside the tank. Studying dynamics of liquid sloshing impact gives a fair idea on impacts due to sudden acceleration in road tankers and modeling of hydrodynamic impact forces. This will also help in knowing the expected flow features like baffle tip vortex inside the tank.
  • CFD Fundamentals: CFD Fundamentals is studying about the governing physical equations, and how the fluid flow problems are solved on computers using numerical methods, the backbone of any CFD code. Students who use commercial CFD software to complete their project works, often refer to user’s manual or tutorial guide, to make a choice of numerical technique, or turbulence model, or the type of boundary condition to apply. But most of the tutorial guides let them down, by not providing sufficient explanation of the theoretical background and justification for using a particular numerical scheme for the given problem. So, knowing the fundamentals of CFD becomes very important in the process of using CFD as a tool for design analysis.

The execution of this project demands the following CFD software skills:

  • ANSYS ICEM CFD: This is pre-processing software that can be used for Mesh generation, which is nothing but a discrete representation of the geometry. Also, ANSYS ICEM CFD has advanced CAD/geometry readers and repair tools to allow the user to do the CAD cleanup work. In this project, ANSYS ICEM CFD will be used to do CAD cleanup of the tank model and generate structured hexahedral mesh through Multi-block approach. So, the knowledge of the software GUI, CAD tools, and blocking tools in ANSYS ICEM CFD is important to take up this project.
  • ANSYS FLUENT: This is a simulation tool that contains the broad physical modeling capabilities needed to model flow (single/multiphase), turbulence, etc. This simulation software allows one to predict, the impact of fluid flows on the design or vice versa. Also, it has post-processing tools to extract simulation results and understand them. In this project, an unsteady multiphase flow will be simulated to predict the free-surface movements using Volume of Fluid (VOF) multiphase model in ANSYS FLUENT. So, a knowledge on the software GUI, solver set-up, fundamentals of multiphase flow, VOF model, visualization techniques, are compulsory to work on this project.

Necessary LearnCAx Courses

Students opting for this project will have to go through online courses suggested by the LearnCAx mentor. This is to learn the required skillsets before start the project work. Following are the two LearnCAx courses required to execute this project.

The access to these courses will be provided to the student as a part of the mentoring program and the validity of access exists till the project completion. 

Project and domain specific knowledge is not included in these courses. The courses are designed to teach CFD methods in-general. The application of knowledge acquired through these courses to this specific project has to be done by student. During project execution stage, mentor will guide student to apply the course(s) knowledge for executing the project. Some of the project or domain specific training might not be directly covered in above course. Mentor will provide necessary guidance to students about from where they can acquire the project specific knowledge.

Who can take the project ?

  • Complexity Level -  8/10 (0-Low; 10-High)CFD simulation of tank sloshing involves usage of advance multiphase model of ANSYS FLUENT. It is also expected that multiblock-structured mesh is to be generated for tank geometry. Considering physics involved and unsteady nature of the problem, the project is inclined towards higher complexity.
  • Project Level - M.E./M.Tech./M.S.Generally, any Flow problem that involves additional physical models like Heat transfer models, Multiphase models, Rotating machinery related models, Dynamic mesh models, etc…, we consider it as M.E. level project. In this project we are simulating a 3D unsteady multiphase flow inside a tank with structured hexahedral mesh. So, the level of the project is best suited for the post graduate students.
  • Duration - 5 MonthsAssuming the student can spend 2-3 hours of time per day and considering the amount of work involved in both learning (2 months) and working (3 months) on the project, we feel this project can be completed in 5 months. This duration might vary based on the amount of dedicated time; the student spends on the project work.

Benefits for students

Your academic project is one of the most important aspects of your degree. It is so important that it always decides what’s going to be next for you. Let it be higher studies or industrial job, the whole career path is based on the project work.With fierce competition powered by a rapid change in the world economy, every graduate/post-graduate is fighting a tough career battle today in the job market. All students look for an initial breakthrough in their careers and each one of them requires a good educational qualification complemented with a good project work.

Knowing CFD software is one important aspect for being CFD engineer, but using the CFD software for solving complex industrial problem is must when it comes to paving your path for career as CFD engineer. 

Working on this project will not only give you knowledge of solving a specific problem of tank sloshing, but it will also give you enough confidence to solve general multiphase problems using CFD. This project experience will boost your academic profile and make it suitable for companies looking for CFD engineer with multiphase expertise. Work experience on this project will open an opportunity for students in industries like automobile, oil& gas, aerospace and transportation industry.

Following are few in-built benefits you will get when working on this project:

  • Opportunity to work on challenging projects of tank sloshing
  • Opportunity to present project work and get reviews from industry experts
  • Project certification done by industry
  • Opportunity to learn non-technical aspects of project execution followed in industry
  • Opportunity to sharpen the domain expertise and shape future career path

This project is to be executed using ANSYS ICEM CFD and ANSYS FLUENT software. When it comes to solving complex multiphase problems, ANSYS FLUENT is one of the best choices for industries. Working on this project will give you exposure to ANSYS FLUENT multiphase modeling and will open large number of opportunities in industry.

Photo: Tooltip cfd-bg-pr-004-cfd-modeling-using-star-ccm4 Add a photo

Project Details

Mentor Project Details

A tanker truck carrying gasoline is initially at rest, then accelerates at a constant value for some time and stops suddenly. This sudden change in vehicle acceleration causes liquid sloshing inside the tank. CFD analysis is carried out to study the free surface movement of the gasoline inside the tank under three different scenarios as mentioned below.

  • Un-baffled tank
  • Baffle without holes
  • Baffle with holes

Each case is simulated for the complete flow time (vehicle acceleration phase and after sudden brake)

Objective of the Study

The objective of this CFD study is to investigate the free surface movement of liquid fuel in a tank under varying acceleration scenarios for an un-baffled tank. The objective is also to determine the effect of baffles in reducing the liquid sloshing intensity inside the tank. The time variation of pressure, the mean & maximum pressure on tank surface and the liquid free surface elevation in relation to the baffle design will be studied.

Project inputs to be shared with students

LearnCAx discussed with the CCTech team to extract the inputs required for the execution of this project. These inputs will be shared with the students before they start with the project work. Following is brief information on the project inputs and how to use them. 

Geometry: Student will receive a CAD model of the tanker truck in .IGES or STEP format. This can be imported in ANSYS ICEM CFD and with few minutes of CAD clean-up, the tank wet surfaces i.e., CFD domain can be extracted. The baffle dimensions, including the height of baffle, hole diameter, baffle location with respect to the tank of the tank will be provided through scaled drawings. Using these dimensions and with the help of geometry creation tools in ANSYS ICEM CFD the baffles can be included in the tank.

  • Tanker Truck – CAD Model in .IGES or STEP format
  • Baffles – Dimensions through drawing

Material properties: The material properties of the working fluid i.e., gasoline and air will be provided to the students in a tabular format. This includes density and kinematic viscosity of the fluids at the operating temperature, in SI units. These values can be used directly in ANSYS FLUENT‘s material properties dialog box. 

  • Density
  • Viscosity

Flow Conditions: The flow conditions are needed to define boundary conditions and to initialize the solution at the start time (flow time = 0 sec). In this project, the vehicle acceleration and the initial fill level are the two important inputs required to specify boundary condition in ANSYS FLUENT. 

  • Vehicle Acceleration Vs. Time - graph
  • Initial liquid fill level

A plot of Vehicle Acceleration vs Time will be provided to the student. The values of acceleration can be directly used in operating conditions tab with careful sign conventions or velocity transient table can be generated from the given plot and used to specify cell zone condition. Initial liquid fill level can be used to initialize the solution with volume fraction of gasoline and air.

Expected deliverable from student

After completion of the project, set of deliverable has to be submitted to LearnCAx and CCTech. These deliverable include details project report and necessary software files. Following are the details of these deliverable. These deliverable will be used to review the quality of work done based on which grading and certification will be done.

Project Report

The report should be in word format and expect to provide the project details starting from the problem description, validation case details & results, CFD domain, meshing details, solution strategy, solver set-up, results, and conclusion at the end. An overview of the expected content is provided below.

  • Introduction: A brief introduction to the project domain along with the need for the study is expected in this section.
  • Project Overview: In this section, explain in detail about the project or the problem and also specify the objective of the problem.
  • Validation Case Details: As we don’t have any experiment results to compare CFD results for our project, we need to validate our solution methodology by doing validation case study for which experimental results are available. So the details about the reference paper, problem definition, geometry, mesh, solver setup, results, and the learnings from the validation study are to be provided in this section.
  • CFD Domain: Student can add images of the given CAD model and baffle dimensions and show the CFD domain after cleanup and geometric operations for all three cases.
  • Meshing: Provide details about the type of mesh used, cell count, mesh quality, images of surface mesh and cut plane showing volume mesh.
  • Boundary Conditions: The initial liquid fill level, vehicle acceleration details, boundary condition on the tank and baffle surfaces, can be added under this section.
  • Solver Set-up: Details about the turbulence model, multiphase model, and numerical discretization schemes used to capture the flow physics should be provided.
  • Results: This section of the report may have details of convergence, machine run time, and most importantly the CFD results. Results include both qualitative and quantitative. 
    • Qualitative Results: Images of Liquid fill level / free surface, volume fraction contours of gasoline in a cut plane, Pressure contours on tank and baffle surfaces, which are taken at a regular time intervals of say 0.5 seconds are to be included for all 3 cases.
    • Qualitative Results: Change in mean &maximum values of pressure on the tank and baffle surfaces, with respect to time are to be compared between the three cases. May be a Pressure Vs Flow Time plot will help in analyzing the impact of baffles in liquid sloshing.
  • Conclusion: Finally end the report with a summary or conclusion of the result analysis. 

Files to be submitted 

All the necessary files related to this project are to be submitted to the company for their future reference. This includes both ANSYS ICEM CFD and ANSYS FLUENT associated files, as listed below.

  • Geometry : .tin file
  • Blocking : .blk file
  • Mesh : .uns file
  • Simulation : .cas and .dat at time interval of 0.5 seconds – for all 3 cases
  • Journal files used for saving images : .jou (if any)
  • Animation of sloshing or free surface movements for the complete flow time for all 3 cases


Mentor Project Mentor

LearnCAx mentor program connects Students, Mentors, and Industrial/University Projects together. Through this unique program, we give an opportunity for students to work on challenging projects offered by industry or assigned by your university. Main aim of LearnCAx mentor program is to give all necessary knowledge and guidance to students, so that they can work on challenging projects. For success of this program, it is very critical for students to understand how this program works, what is role of LearnCAx mentor, and what is role of student.

To get an overall idea about LearnCAx mentor program, visit Overview and How it Works? articles.

Every project has different challenges and requires specific domain expertise. LearnCAx has team of mentors. Every mentor has expertise in CFD and large work experience in executing industrial projects. They have developed domain experts in specific domain by executing industrial project in the domain for more than 5 years. When you enroll for LearnCAx mentor program, you get a dedicated mentor. Mentor is decided based on the project definition and required expertise. 

The complete LearnCAx mentor program is based on the theme of “Learn – Try – Execute”. This is student centric approach, where it is expected that student would learn and acquire all required knowledge, try the knowledge on simple problems and then execute the project. LearnCAx mentor is a guide/mentor who will be with student during every phase, let it be learning or executing the project. Mentor will provide all required guidance to student enrolled for this program. 

Following are the few responsibilities of LearnCAx mentor:

  • To check if project is feasible using CFD or not
  • To design the learning path for students which will include required courses and domain knowledge
  • Guide student to break the project into intermediate stages
  • Guide student to make required assumptions and simplify the problem
  • Guide student during their learning phase
  • Guide student during the project execution phase
  • Review the project work at regular intervals
  • Review project work and provide feedback

Our main focus is to give student a working experience on challenging project. Student will execute all the stages of project by acquiring required skill sets. Mentor will provide necessary guidance. Following are few things LearnCAx mentor will not do:

  • Provide customized training specific for the assigned project
  • Work on any of the project execution stage including meshing and simulation
  • Prepare the project report/presentation


Mentor Project Certification

About Company Offering this Project

This is an industrial project offered by Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (CCTech). CCTech is a venture started by a group of IITians and industry professionals with extensive experience in CAD/CFD application, development, and testing. The average experience of a CAD/CFD professional at CCTech is more than 6 years. Members of the advisory board and principal consultants are specialists in various applications of CAD/CFD, empowering CCTech to handle complex CAD/CFD problems.

CCTech has always taken new challenges in terms of problem complexity and project time lines. It has successfully carried out various projects in high speed aerodynamics, HVAC of automobile, data center cooling, analysis of automobile defrost and ventilation ducts, volute design for pump, fluidized bed simulation, soot formation in IC engines etc.

This project is offered by CCTech’s CFD consultancy division. CFD consultancy division offers design, analysis and optimization services for various industries and successfully completed more than 100 projects. With its quality of work and capability of handling challenging project, CFD consultancy division is one of the preferred choices for many industries including automobile, heat exchanger, and control valve manufacturers, oil & gas design and consultancy firms. Working on this project will give you an opportunity to work with expert engineers in the CFD consultancy division and it would be unique learning experience. To know more about the company, visit

Assessment Process

This project will go through two levels of assessment. The first level of assessment will be done by project mentor. Second level of assessment will be done by review panel from Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Company offering this project). The assessment process is designed to make sure that a student has gone through all the necessary learning and project execution stages. The assessment process is also designed to grade the project work for quality of work done by student.

Project mentor’s assessment is a continuous monitoring process. The assessment process is designed to make sure that student executes each and every stage of project successfully with desired output and learning. Project mentor will do assessment at following stages:

  • Learning done by student to make sure that student has acquired skills to execute the project
  • Literature survey and problem understanding by student to make sure that student has understood the complexity of project and knows the execution path
  • Geometry and meshing techniques used to make sure its quality
  • Simulation and methods used to make sure that it will satisfy the objective of simulation
  • Project report review and presentation to make sure that the project objectives are satisfied

After completion of project, the final assessment and review will be done by team from Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The review will be done based on the project report submitted by student. The project work will be graded based on following criteria

  • Aim and objective of the simulation work done by student
  • Geometry and physics simplifications done by students and its validity
  • Meshing method used, cell count and its quality
  • CFD models, boundary conditions used and its validity
  • Agreement of CFD results with data available with CCTech
  • Simulation results and student’s interpretation about the results


After successful completion of the project, student will get a certificate issued by Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. This industrial project certificate will add a great value in student’s profile and will lay a foundation for their career in CFD domain.

Student’s project work will go through a rigorous review process set by CCTech. A review team will grade students work and assign grading out of 10. CCTech will give a project completion certificate with acquired grade to the student.


Mentor Project FAQ

1. I don’t have a chemical background. Does using multiphase modeling in ANSYS FLUENT, demand that? 

Working on this project doesn’t require much of a chemical background. All the necessary knowledge for using multiphase model in ANSYS FLUENT are covered under the course.

2. Will I get project completion certificate from LearnCAx or the company?

You will get the certificate from the company. You can appear for a test and get course completion certificate separately from us. This is independent of the project completion.

3. Why there is cost associated with this project?

Although this project is offered by industry, there is need of courses and dedicated mentor to guide the student throughout project journey. The total cost has two components, one the cost associated with required LearnCAx courses and cost associated with guidance provided by mentor. Some part of the total cost is also for continuous assessment and project certification.

4. You have mentioned that the project is for ME or MTech or MS students. I am a BE or undergraduate student, can I do this project?

Ideally this project is for ME/MTech level students. If you are a BE student you will need more time than the mentioned project duration. If you are interested in the project and have 8 months to an year to work on the project then you can consider this project.  

5. We are a group of 3 to 4 students. Can we as a group work on this project?

No. This project is for a single individual only. A group of student cannot take this project.

6. As a undergraduate or BE student can I do this project individually?

Yes. If you are an undergraduate or BE student having interest and appropriate time and background required for this project you can take this project. But you will need to do this project individually and not in group. Also as this is a ME level project, you should expect that it will be challenging at BE level. A BE level student must have at-least an year to work on the project.


Last Reviews

There are yet no reviews for this product.
Now please write a (short) review....(min. 100, max. 2000 characters)
First: Rate the product. Please select a rating between 0 (poorest) and 5 stars (best). Rating:
Characters written:

Browse Knowledge Base

Recommended By

Get Instant Updates

Subscribe to get instant updates about CFD courses, projects, blogs, webinars, software tutorials & CFD jobs