, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 97-119
Date: 29 Mar 2012

Analytical and Experimental Study of Pressure Dynamics in a Pulsed Water Jet Device

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Abstract

Pulsed high-velocity water jets are of interest for breaking rocks and other materials. This paper describes a straightforward way of generating single water pulse with a hammer impacting a piston that rests on top of a chamber filled with water. This impacting action pressurises the water, expelling it at high velocity through a nozzle. A theoretical investigation is outlined aimed at gaining a better understanding of this system for generating water pulses. A computational model is developed to simulate the pressure dynamics in the chamber based on continuity and momentum equations for a compressible viscous flow. This model is used to optimise the relative sizes of the hammer and piston as well as the height of the water column to produce the highest velocity water pulse. The model was validated by building an experimental apparatus. In these experiments maximum pressures of about 200 MPa were measured inside the chamber over a time period of about 560 μs. This produced a water pulse with maximum velocity of 600 m/s. Experiments were conducted with nozzle diameters between about 1 mm and 4 mm to study the effect of discharge volume on the pressure history. The results illustrate that although the peak attainable pressure decreases with an increase in nozzle diameter, the duration of the elevated pressure remains similar for all nozzles.