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Cavitation Onset In Counter-Rotating Vortices From Diverging Disks

Mariana Costa, Daniele Fiscaletti, Jerry Westerweel

Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands


Cavitation occurs when the local pressure, induced by high local velocities, drops below the vapor pressure, leading to the formation of vapor bubbles. The subsequent collapse of these bubbles can cause noise, erosion, and vibrations. Recent studies show that cavitation is sensitive to water quality, i.e., the nuclei populations, the chemical composition of water, and the presence of particles. Motivated by investigating the effects of water quality on cavitation, experiments are performed in a dedicated experimental facility. This consists in two co-axial disks that are initially at rest and mutually in contact, in a tank filled with water. The fast diverging movement of the top disk with respect to the bottom one produces a jet flow inside the gap between the disks, which leads to the formation of two counter-rotating vortices. The local pressure drop induced by high flow velocities leads to a phase change. To characterize the phenomenon, two optical techniques are applied, i.e., shadowgraphy and particle image velocimetry (PIV). In performing PIV reconstruction, the sum of correlation enhances the spatial resolution of the velocity vector fields. The pressure field in the region where the vortices occur is obtained from velocity data. The water quality effects on cavitation are investigated by adding salt and using water with an abundance of nuclei inside the tank.

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