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Shock waves in bubbly cavitating flows. Part I. Shock waves in cloud cavitation. Part II. Bubbly cavitating flows through a converging-diverging nozzle


Wang, Yi-Chun (1996) Shock waves in bubbly cavitating flows. Part I. Shock waves in cloud cavitation. Part II. Bubbly cavitating flows through a converging-diverging nozzle. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/82EP-4P53.


Two problems are considered in this thesis: the nonlinear dynamics of a cloud of cavitation bubbles, and bubbly cavitating flows in a converging-diverging nozzle. The focus of the first problem is to explore the characteristics of the growth and collapse of a spherical cloud of bubbles. The prototypical problem solved considers a finite cloud of nuclei that is exposed 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 behaviour exhibited by a bubble cloud as it passes a body or the blade of a ship propeller. The simulations employ the fully nonlinear, non-barotropic, homogeneous two-phase flow equations coupled with the Rayleigh-Plesset equation for the dynamics of individual bubbles. A Lagrangian integral method is developed to solve this set of equations. The computational results confirm the idea put forward by Morch and his co-workers (Morch [1980], [1981], [1982]; Hanson et al. [1981]) who speculated that the collapse of the cloud involved the formation of a shock wave on the surface of the cloud and that inward propagation and geometric focusing of this shock would lead to very large localized pressure pulses. The effects of varying the bubble population density, the cavitation number, and the ratio of the cloud size to the bubble size are examined. The theoretical results are shown to provide a satisfactory explanation for dynamic structures and acoustic signature observed in recently conducted experiments of cloud cavitation at California Institute of Technology (Reisman and Brennen [1996]; Brennen et al. [1996]). It is concluded that the formation and focusing of bubbly shock waves are responsible for the severe noise and damage potential in cloud cavitation. The second problem investigates the nonlinear behavior of a bubbly cavitating flow, both steady and unsteady, through a converging-diverging nozzle. Two different flow regimes are found from steady state solutions: quasi-steady and quasi-unsteady. The former is characterized by the large spatial fluctuations in the downstream of the flow. Bifurcation occurs as the flow transitions from one regime to the other. An analytical expression for the critical bubble size at bifurcation is obtained. Finally, unsteady solutions in a period of consecutive times are presented. These solutions are characterized by the downstream spatial fluctuations coupled with large pressure pulses changing in both magnitude and location with time. The characteristics of these pulses are similar to the shock pulses of Part I and are produced by the local violent collapse of the bubbles in the flow.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Mechanical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Brennen, Christopher E.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:22 May 1996
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-02282006-144334
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:804
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:03 Mar 2006
Last Modified:21 Dec 2019 04:36

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