An experimental and numerical study of supercavitating flows tric cavitators
It has been shown that developing a supercavitating flow around under-water projectiles has a significant effect on their drag reduction. As such, it has been a subject of growing attention in the recent decades. In this paper, a numerical and experimental study of supercavitating flows around axisymmetric cavitators is presented. The experiments are conducted in a semi-open loop water tunnel. According to the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations and mass transfer model, a three-component cavitation model is proposed to simulate the cavitating flow. The corresponding governing equations are solved using the finite element method and the mixture Rayleigh-Plesset model. The main objective of this research is to study the effects of some important parameters of these flows such as the cavitation number, Reynolds number and conic angle of the cavitators on the drag coefficient as well as the dimensions of cavities developed around the submerged bodies. A comparison of the numerical and experimental results shows that the numerical method is able to predict accurately the shape parameters of the natural cavitation phenomena such as cavity length, cavity diameter and cavity shape. The results also indicate that the cavitation number declines from 0.32 to 0.25 leading to a 28 percent decrease in the drag coefficient for a 30◦ cone cavitator. By increasing the Reynolds number, the cavity length is extended up to 322% for a 60◦ cone cavitator.
Keywords: natural cavitation, mass transfer, water tunnel, finite element method, drag coefficient, axisymmetric cavitators