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Measurements of void fraction distribution in cavitating pipe flow using x-ray CT

Bauer, D., Chaves, H. & Arcoumanis, C. (2012). Measurements of void fraction distribution in cavitating pipe flow using x-ray CT. Measurement Science and Technology, 23(5), article number 55302. doi: 10.1088/0957-0233/23/5/055302


Measuring the void fraction distribution is still one of the greatest challenges in cavitation research. In this paper, a measurement technique for the quantitative void fraction characterization in a cavitating pipe flow is presented. While it is almost impossible to visualize the inside of the cavitation region with visible light, it is shown that with x-ray computed tomography (CT) it is possible to capture the time-averaged void fraction distribution in a quasi-steady pipe flow. Different types of cavitation have been investigated including cloud-like cavitation, bubble cavitation and film cavitation at very high flow rates. A specially designed nozzle was employed to induce very stable quasi-steady cavitation. The obtained results demonstrate the advantages of the measurement technique compared to other ones; for example, structures were observed inside the cavitation region that could not be visualized by photographic images. Furthermore, photographic images and pressure measurements were used to allow comparisons to be made and to prove the superiority of the CT measurement technique.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Measurement Science and Technology. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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