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Visualisation and les simulation of cavitation cloud formation and collapse in an axisymmetric geometry

Gavaises, M., Villa, F., Koukouvinis, P. , Marengo, M. & Franc, J-P. (2015). Visualisation and les simulation of cavitation cloud formation and collapse in an axisymmetric geometry. International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 68, pp. 14-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmultiphaseflow.2014.09.008


Visualisation and Large Eddy Simulations (LES) of cavitation inside the apparatus previously developed by Franc (2011) for surface erosion acceleration tests and material response monitoring are presented. The experimental flow configuration is a steady-state closed loop flow circuit where pressurised water, flowing through a cylindrical feed nozzle, is forced to turn 90° and then, move radially between two flat plates towards the exit of the device. High speed images show that cavitation is forming at the round exit of the feed nozzle. The cavitation cloud then grows in the radial direction until it reaches a maximum distance where it collapses. Due to the complexity of the flow field, direct observation of the flow structures was not possible, however vortex shedding is inferred from relevant simulations performed for the same conditions. Despite the axisymmetric geometry utilized, instantaneous pictures of cavitation indicate variations in the circumferential direction. Image post-processing has been used to characterize in more detail the phenomenon. In particular, the mean cavitation appearance and the cavity length have been estimated, showing good correlation with the erosion zone. This also coincides with the locations of the maximum values of the standard deviation of cavitation presence. The dominant frequency of the ‘large-scale’ cavitation clouds has been estimated through FFT. Cloud collapse frequencies vary almost linearly between 200 and 2000 Hz as function of the cavitation number and the downstream pressure. It seems that the increase of the Reynolds number leads to a reduction of the collapse frequency; it is believed that this effect is due to the agglomeration of vortex cavities, which causes a decrease of the apparent frequency. The results presented here can be utilized for validation of relevant cavitation erosion models which are currently under development.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Cavitation; Erosion; Collapse; LES
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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Text - Accepted Version
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