Simulation and analysis of collapsing vapor-bubble clusters with special emphasis on potentially erosive impact loads at walls
Technische Universität München, Institute of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
Published online: 4 June 2018
Cavitation is a process where a liquid evaporates due to a pressure drop and re-condenses violently. Noise, material erosion and altered system dynamics characterize for such a process for which shock waves, rarefaction waves and vapor generation are typical phenomena. The current paper presents novel results for collapsing vapour-bubble clusters in a liquid environment close to a wall obtained by computational fluid mechanics (CFD) simulations. The driving pressure initially is 10 MPa in the liquid. Computations are carried out by using a fully compressible single-fluid flow model in combination with a conservative finite volume method (FVM). The investigated bubble clusters (referred to as “clouds”) differ by their initial vapor volume fractions, initial stand-off distances to the wall and by initial bubble radii. The effects of collapse focusing due to bubble-bubble interaction are analysed by investigating the intensities and positions of individual bubble collapses, as well as by the resulting shock-induced pressure field at the wall. Stronger interaction of the bubbles leads to an intensification of the collapse strength for individual bubbles, collapse focusing towards the center of the cloud and enhanced re-evaporation. The obtained results reveal collapse features which are common for all cases, as well as case-specific differences during collapse-rebound cycles. Simultaneous measurements of maximum pressures at the wall and within the flow field and of the vapor volume evolution show that not only the primary collapse but also subsequent collapses are potentially relevant for erosion.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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