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MODELLING CAVITATING VENTURI FLOWS by Changhai Xu et al.

AIM To study the unsteady discharge and flowfeild characteristics of cavitating venturis. Primary motivation is to study those conditions pertaining to rocket testing applications. QUICK FACTS K- omega model is used throughout. Unsteady , homogenous model. Comparison with experimental data. Materials used: water and cryogenic materials such as LOX, LH2. Psuedo density is used to complete the set of governing equations- Rayleigh Plesset equation. • The model is essentially a Navier-Stokes equation for a variable density flow, where the pseudo-density term reflects the local void fraction in the flow. • The model is found to be quite accurate, with results obtained varying only 2 to 5% from that of experimental results. • • • • • NUMERICS • Marker and Cell method. • Staggered mesh. • Succesive-Line Over Relaxation. • No-slip wall condition. INTRO Cavitation starts to occur at the throat of the venturi when the downstream pressure is 85 to 90% of upstream pressure, and flow through the venturi is said to be 'choked'. The 'rocket community' does not experience any significant erosion effects due to harder materials and relatively shorter test times. OVERFLOW When downstream pressure is increased, the cavitating venturi operates in the 'unchoked' mode. Subsequently, when the downstream pressure is decreased, the flow rate exceeds the maximum choked flow rate by as much as two times. The overflow condition is found to persist with a hysterisis effect until the downstream pressure is decreased to a much lower value. This phenomenon is attributed to hydrodynamic non-equilibrium effects, which delay the onset of cavitation to pressures significantly lower than the equilibrium

inlet pressure was kept constant and outlet pressure was varied. Reynolds numbers greater than 10^7 are considered as high reynolds number whereas Re < 10^6 is considered as low Reynolds No: flow. Flow seperation: • • Flow seperation is found to occur at the aft end of the cavity. • Hence. the only effect of a change in temperature will be a corresponding change in the fluid vapour pressure. • The effect of variation of temperature was found to be negligible during testing with LOX.vapour pressure. For the high Reynolds' number flow. Changes in the geometry of the venturi were proposed to overcome this shortcoming. collapse causes a splitting of the cavity into two phases. Due to limitations of the model used. Therefore. • The discharge increases with the increase in the length of the cavitating region. laminar solutions were computed for these flows and the resultst so obtained were used to predict unsteady results of these cases. In the first method. unsteady results could not be obtained for 'low' reynolds number flows. Bubble formation: • The vapour cloud is always anchored near the throat of the venturi. and it grows/shrinks downstream of this point. In the second method. . unsteady results were obtainedwhere the cavititaing region grew and collapsed in a quasi-periodic manner. Violence of cavity collapse is cited to be responsible for flow seperation. even though experimental results indicate that even such flows are inherently unsteady. Explanation for figure 6: • Hydrodynamic non-equilibrium conditions will prevent the entire liquid in the throat section from vapourising. Effect of temperature on cavitating flow: • The model used for this study does not solve an energy equation. • The growth phase takes much longer time than the collapse phase. outlet pressure is kept constant (ambient conditions) and the inlet pressure is varied. RESULTS Two methods were adopted for numerical analysis. • In some cases.

the length of cavity extends beyond that of the diffuser.98.15. and this indicates the 2 dimensionality of the flow. In general. Effect of the parameter 'Nucleation site density' This parameter was assigned a value of around 10^12. Oscillations are of very high frequency and will affect only the shortest of tests. After t=70. Cavitation length is non-dimensionalised w. • Mean velocity near the wall is found to 5 times that computed using Bernoulli's equation. throat diameter. maximum Lc/Ld values are in the range of 0. • Discharge co-efficient versus cavitation length: • • • • • • • • Discharge co-efficient is the ratio of computed mass flow rate to the theoretical mass flow rate obtained based on Bernoulli velocity. The discharge increases with the increase in the length of the cavitating region. Long duration tests undergo so many oscillations that only the average value of Cd needs to be considered. provided the inlet pressure is significantly greater than the fluid vapour pressure. it is observed that the fluid vapour pressure does not affect the performance of the venturi. Cavitation length is defined as the length in which pseudo-density is <= 0. For small cavitation numberr. .The cavity thus gets formed only on a small anulus near the wall and there will be liquid-core as shown in figure. and reverse flow is observed. Effect of fluid vapour pressure on the performance of cavitating venturis. it is observed that oscillations in flowrate is tightly coupled to cavity growth.t.r.10 to 0. Initial values obtained are not accurate because of inaccuracies in the initial conditions provided. • • STROUHAL NUMBER • Strouhal number is defined using the diffuser length and Bernoulli velocity. Previous studies have shown that cavitation becomes insesnitive to this parameter at values beyond 10^8. In practical devices. • For practical values of cavitation number K. • Flow seperation occurs in the diffuser part due to adverse pressure gradient. this is almost always the case. Lc/Ld The cavitating length is non-dimensionalised against the length of the diffuser.

during the time it takes for a fluid element to traverse the diffuser length at Bernoulli velocity. • Oscillation frequency is found to be inversely proportional to cavitation length. • CONCLUSIONS The venturi massflow is a weak function of back pressure. . • The massflow rate reaches a minimum at (P1-P2)/P1 =0.It represents the no:of times the cavity oscillates. • Mass flow rate decreases inittially when P2 value is lowered. • Significant sound and vibration is attributed to oscillation and bubble collapse and this leads to instability in the case of rocket propulsion or other combustion devices.4 and increases as the P2 value is reduced further. • Compiled by Arjun R. even in cavitating flow conditions.