, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 187-197

Experimental and asymptotic study of nonspherical bubble collapse

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Observations of the behavior of spark-generated bubbles in the vicinity of solid and free boundaries are described. In all cases, the formation of a reentering region (microjet or constriction) occurs on the part of the bubble which has the most freedom of motion. Drag-reducing polymer additives are seen to significantly affect bubble departure from sphericity. Their presence weakens the influence of nearby solid boundaries, and seems to enhance that of a free surface. The relative importance of the acoustic pulses emitted during successive implosions and rebounds of the bubble is seen to be modified by the proximity of a solid wall. When the radius of the bubble is small compared to its distance from the closest boundary, a theoretical approach, using matched asymptotic expansion, is applied successfully to describe the nonspherical bubble behavior and the pressure field. This method is extended to the case of a multi-bubble system. It is very useful in determining the limiting distances of interaction. In the case of a free surface this distance is less than two bubble diameters. When applied to a solid wall covered with an elastic coating of finite thickness, or to a two-liquid interface this technique shows a selection process: bubbles closer than a limiting distance to the boundary are repelled during their collapse. The collapse is toward the boundary only for bubbles beyond this distance and is therefore less damaging.