Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 729–746 | Cite as

Cavitation structures formed during the rebound of a sphere from a wetted surface

  • J. O. Marston
  • W. Yong
  • W. K. Ng
  • R. B. H. Tan
  • S. T. Thoroddsen
Research Article


We use high-speed imaging to observe the dynamics of cavitation, caused by the impact and subsequent rebound of a sphere from a solid surface covered with a thin layer of highly viscous liquid. We note marked qualitative differences between the cavitation structures with increase in viscosity, as well as between Newtonian and non-Newtonian liquids. The patterns observed are quite unexpected and intricate, appearing in concentric ring formations around the site of impact. In all cases, we identify a distinct radius from which the primary bubbles emanate. This radius is modelled with a modified form of Hertz contact theory. Within this radius, we show that some fine cavitation structure may exist or that it may be one large cavitation bubble. For the non-Newtonian fluids, we observe foam-like structures extending radially with diminishing bubble sizes with increase in radial position. Whereas for the Newtonian fluids, the opposite trend is observed with increasing bubble size for increasing radial position. Finally, we compare our experimental observations of cavitation to the maximum tension criterion proposed by Joseph (J Fluid Mech 366:367–378, 1998) showing that this provides the lower limit for the onset of cavitation in our experiments.


Cavitation Impact Velocity Liquid Bridge High Impact Velocity Minimum Separation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was initiated while W. Yong was attached to ICES from NUS during an undergraduate industrial attachment scheme under J.O. Marston. The work was supported by the Science and Engineering Research Council of A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), Singapore. The authors would like to thank Ng Junwei for technical support and Professors T.G. Etoh & K. Takehara at Kinki University for use of their laboratory for some early experiments in this work.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 3 (AVI 4388 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. O. Marston
    • 1
    • 3
  • W. Yong
    • 2
  • W. K. Ng
    • 1
  • R. B. H. Tan
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. T. Thoroddsen
    • 3
  1. 1.A-STAR Institute of Chemical and Engineering SciencesSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Division of Physical Sciences and EngineeringKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia

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