Cavitation erosion

Thursday 19 March 2015

Cavitation is the process of developing vapor bubbles in a liquid flow by decreasing in pressure at almost constant temperature. Erosion by cavitation appears in flow regions where unsteady cavitation pockets exist.

It is well known that cavitation can have detrimental consequences in rotating machines; such as, damaging solid surfaces close to the area where the bubbles collapse, decline in the efficiency, and induction of strong variations of pressure that may threaten the structural integrity. Understanding the unsteady nature of the gas pockets is very important for the prediction of erosion because it is their frequent collapse that causes damages to hydraulic components.

Cavitation simulation and prediction is of crucial importance to the efficiency and performance of hydraulic machines. However usual numerical approaches to cavitation tend to model the presence of gas pockets and are not able to predict accurately the development and then collapse of the bubbles.

The work will hence consist in developing an accurate phase transition model in the fluid flow simulation tool that is based on the mesh-less technique Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics; therefore it will allow predicting the high intensity stresses in the material and possibly the erosion intensity.

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