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Illustrating the effect of viscoelastic additives on cavitation and turbulence with X-ray imaging

Karathanassis, I. K. ORCID: 0000-0001-9025-2866, Trickett, K., Koukouvinis, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-3945-3707, Wang, J., Barbour, R. and Gavaises, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-0874-8534 (2018). Illustrating the effect of viscoelastic additives on cavitation and turbulence with X-ray imaging. Scientific Reports, 8, p. 14968. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32996-w


The effect of viscoelastic additives on the topology and dynamics of the two-phase flow arising within an axisymmetric orifice with a flow path constriction along its main axis has been investigated employing high-flux synchrotron radiation. X-ray Phase Contrast Imaging (XPCI) has been conducted to visualise the cavitating flow of different types of diesel fuel within the orifice. An additised blend containing Quaternary Ammonium Salt (QAS) additives with a concentration of 500 ppm has been comparatively examined against a pure (base) diesel compound. A high-flux, 12 keV X-ray beam has been utilised to obtain time resolved radiographs depicting the vapour extent within the orifice from two views (side and top) with reference to its main axis. Different test cases have been examined for both fuel types and for a range of flow conditions characterised by Reynolds number of 35500 and cavitation numbers (CN) lying in the range 3.0–7.7. It has been established that the behaviour of viscoelastic micelles in the regions of shear flow is not consistent depending on the cavitation regimes encountered. Namely, viscoelastic effects enhance vortical (string) cavitation, whereas hinder cloud cavitation. Furthermore, the use of additised fuel has been demonstrated to suppress the level of turbulence within the orifice.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Engineering > Mechanical Engineering & Aeronautics
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