Numerical Computation of Shock Waves in a Spherical Cloud of Cavitation Bubbles

[+] Author and Article Information
Yi-Chun Wang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan

Christopher E. Brennen

Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125

J. Fluids Eng 121(4), 872-880 (Dec 01, 1999) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2823549 History: Received September 15, 1997; Revised August 09, 1999; Online December 04, 2007


The nonlinear dynamics of a spherical cloud of cavitation bubbles have been simulated numerically in order to learn more about the physical phenomena occurring in cloud cavitation. A finite cloud of nuclei is subject to a decrease in the ambient pressure which causes the cloud to cavitate. A subsequent pressure recovery then causes the cloud to collapse. This is typical of the transient behavior exhibited by a bubble cloud as it passes a body or the blade of a ship propeller. The simulations employ the fully nonlinear continuum bubbly mixture equations coupled with the Rayleigh-Plesset equation for the dynamics of bubbles. A Lagrangian integral method is developed to solve this set of equations. It was found that, with strong bubble interaction effects, the collapse of the cloud is accompanied by the formation of an inward propagating bubbly shock wave. A large pressure pulse is produced when this shock passes the bubbles and causes them to collapse. The focusing of the shock at the center of the cloud produces a very large pressure pulse which radiates a substantial impulse to the far field and provides an explanation for the severe noise and damage potential in cloud cavitation.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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