Background nuclei measurements and implications for cavitation inception in hydrodynamic test facilities
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Water susceptibility and background nuclei content in a water tunnel are investigated using a cavitation susceptibility meter. The measured cumulative histogram of nuclei concentration against critical pressure shows a power law dependence over a large range of concentrations and pressures. These results show that the water strength is not characterised by a single tension but is susceptible to ‘all’ tensions depending on the relevant timescale. This background nuclei population is invariant to tunnel conditions showing that it is stabilised against dissolution. Consideration of a practical cavitating flow about a sphere shows that although background nuclei may be activated, their numbers are so few compared with other sources that they are insignificant for this case.
The authors acknowledge the support of the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group.
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