Effect of Input Power and Temperature on the Cavitation Intensity During the Ultrasonic Treatment of Molten Aluminium
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Experimental results of ultrasonic processing of liquid aluminium with a 5 kW magnetostrictive transducer and a 20 mm titanium sonotrode excited at 17 kHz are reported in this study. A unique high-temperature cavitometer sensor, placed at various locations in the liquid melt, measured cavitation activity at various acoustic power levels and different temperature ranges. The highest cavitation intensity in the liquid bulk is achieved below the surface of the sonotrode, at the lowest temperature and with an applied power of 3.5 kW. This two-fold mechanism is related to (a) acoustic shielding and (b) the tendency of liquid aluminium to release hydrogen when the temperature drops, thus promoting multiple cavitation events. Understanding these mechanisms in liquid metals can result in a major breakthrough for the optimization of ultrasound applications to liquid metal processing.
KeywordsUltrasonic treatment Metallic alloys Cavitation bubbles Frequency spectrum Acoustic pressure
This work is performed within the Ultramelt Project supported by the EPSRC Grants EP/K005804/1 and EP/K00588X/1.
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