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Influence of cavitation on blade characteristics


An experimental study of flow around a blade with a modified NACA 4418 profile was conducted in a water tunnel that also enables control of the cavitation conditions within it. Pressure, lift force, drag force and pitching moment acting on the blade were measured for different blade angles and cavitation numbers, respectively. Relationships between these parameters were elaborated and some of them are presented here in dimensionless form. The analysis of results confirmed that cavitation changes the pressure distribution significantly. As a consequence, lift force and pitching moment are reduced, and the drag force is increased. When the cavitation cloud covers one side of the blade and the flow becomes more and more vaporous, the drag force also begins to decrease. The cavity length is increased by increasing the blade angle and by decreasing thé cavitation number.

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A :

(m2) blade area,B ·L

B :

(m) blade width

C D :

(−) drag coefficient,F D /(p d ·A)

C L :

(−) lift coefficient,F L /(P d ·A)

C M :

(−) pitching moment coefficient,M/(P d ·A ·L)

C p :

(−) pressure coefficient, (p-p r )/p d

F :

(N) force

L :

(m) blade length

M :

(Nm) pitching moment

p :

(Pa) local pressure on blade surface

p d :

(Pa) dynamic pressure,ϱ ·V 2/2

p r :

(Pa) reference wall pressure at blade nose position if there would be no blade in the tunnel

p v :

(Pa) vapor pressure

p 1 :

(Pa) wall pressure 350 mm in front of thé blade axis

Re :

(−) Reynolds number,V ·L/v

V :

(m/s) mean velocity of flow in the tunnel

x :

(m) Cartesian coordinate along thé blade profile cord

x c :

(m) cavity length,x-coordinate of cavity end

α :

(°) blade angle

v (m2/s2):

kinematic viscosity

ρ :

(kg/m3) fluid density

σ :

(−) cavitation number, (p r p v )/p d

ϕ :

(°) angle of tangent to thé blade profile contour


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Vujanič, V., Velenšek, B. Influence of cavitation on blade characteristics. Experiments in Fluids 17, 441–445 (1994).

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  • Experimental Study
  • Cavitation
  • Pressure Distribution
  • Drag Force
  • Dimensionless Form