One-way-coupling simulation of cavitation accompanied by high-speed droplet impact

Tomoki Kondo, Keita Ando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Erosion due to high-speed droplet impact is a crucial issue in industrial applications. The erosion is caused by the water-hammer loading on material surfaces and possibly by the reloading from collapsing cavitation bubbles that appear within the droplet. Here, we simulate the dynamics of cavitation bubbles accompanied by high-speed droplet impact against a deformable wall in order to see whether the bubble collapse is violent enough to give rise to cavitation erosion on the wall. The evolution of pressure waves in a single water (or gelatin) droplet to collide with a deformable wall at speed up to 110 m/s is inferred from simulations of multicomponent Euler flow where phase changes are not permitted. Then, we examine the dynamics of cavitation bubbles nucleated from micron/submicron-sized gas bubble nuclei that are supposed to exist inside the droplet. For simplicity, we perform Rayleigh-Plesset-type calculations in a one-way-coupling manner, namely, the bubble dynamics are determined according to the pressure variation obtained from the Euler flow simulation. In the simulation, the preexisting bubble nuclei whose size is either micron or submicron show large growth to submillimeters because tension inside the droplet is obtained through interaction of the pressure waves and the droplet interface; this supports the possibility of having cavitation due to the droplet impact. It is also found, in particular, for the case of cavitation arising from very small nuclei such as nanobubbles, that radiated pressure from the cavitation bubble collapse can overwhelm the water-hammer pressure directly created by the impact. Hence, cavitation may need to be accounted for when it comes to discussing erosion in the droplet impact problem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33303
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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