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Modelling the effect of suspended bodies on cavitation bubbles near a rigid boundary using a boundary integral approach

McGregor, Peter Stanley (2003) Modelling the effect of suspended bodies on cavitation bubbles near a rigid boundary using a boundary integral approach. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Cavitation is the spontaneous vaporisation of a liquid to its gaseous state due to the local absolute pressure falling to the liquid's vapour pressure (Douglas, Gasiorek et al. 1995). Cavitation is present in a wide range of mechanical systems ranging from ship screws to journal bearing. Generally, cavitation is unavoidable and may cause considerable damage and efficiency losses to these systems. This thesis considers hydraulic systems specifically, and uses a modified Greens equation to develop a boundary integral method to simulate the effect that suspended solid bodies have on a single cavitation bubble. Because of the limitations of accurately modelling cavitation bubbles beyond touchdown, results are only presented for cases up to touchdown. The aim of the model is to draw insight into the reasons there is a measurable change in cavitation erosion rate with increasing oil-in-water emulsion percentage. This principle was extended to include the effect that ingested particulates may have on cavitation in hydraulic machinery. Two particular situations are modelled; the first consists of stationary rigid particles in varying proximity to a cavitation bubble near a rigid boundary. The second case is similar; however the suspended particle is allowed to move under the influence of the pressure differential caused by the expanding/contracting cavitation bubble. Numerous characteristics of the domain are considered, including domain pressures and fluid field motion, and individual boundary surface characteristics. The conclusion of the thesis is that solid bodies, either stationary or moving, have little effect on the cavity from an energy perspective. Regardless of size or density, all energy transferred from the cavity to the solid body is returned indicating that there is no net change. As this energy is ultimately responsible for the peak pressure experienced by the domain (and hence responsible for eroding the rigid boundary) as the cavity rebounds, it then serves that a cavity with a solid body will rebound at the same pressure as a cavity without a suspended body present. If this is coupled with the observation that the cavity centroid at touchdown is largely unaffected by the presence of a suspension, then it would appear that the bubble near a solid would rebound at a very similar position as a cavity without a solid. Consequently, the damage potential of a cavity is unaffected by a suspension. However, there is one point of contention as the profile of the re-entrant jet of the cavity is altered by the presence of a suspension. As energy is radiated away from the cavity during penetration, it is possible that the shape of the jet may alter the rate that energy is radiated away during penetration. However, this requires further research to be definitive.

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ID Code: 15822
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Hargreaves, Douglas, Clegg, Richard, & Turner, Ian
Keywords: Boundary Element Method, Boundary Integral Method, Cavitation, Suspensions, Emulsions, Suspended Solids, Suspended Bodies, Contaminated Lubricants, Contaminated Hydraulic Fluids, Multi-Phase Flow, Computational Fluid Modelling
Department: Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Peter Stanley McGregor
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 13:50
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:39

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