Experiments in Fluids

, 55:1648 | Cite as

The onset of cavitation during the collision of a sphere with a wetted surface

  • M. M. Mansoor
  • J. Uddin
  • J. O. MarstonEmail author
  • I. U. Vakarelski
  • S. T. Thoroddsen
Research Article


We investigate the onset of cavitation during the collision of a sphere with a solid surface covered with a layer of Newtonian liquid. The conventional theory dictates cavitation to initiate during depressurization, i.e. when the sphere rebounds from the solid surface. Using synchronized dual-view high-speed imaging, we provide conclusive experimental evidence that confirms this scenario—namely—that cavitation occurs only after the sphere makes initial contact with the solid surface. Similar to previous experimental observations for spheres released above the liquid surface, bubbles are formed on the sphere surface during entry into the liquid layer. These were found to squeeze radially outwards with the liquid flow as the sphere approached the solid surface, producing an annular bubble structure unrelated to cavitation. In contrast, spheres released below the liquid surface did not exhibit these patterns.


Cavitation Sphere Surface Approach Stage Squeeze Flow Pressurization Stage 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. M. Mansoor
    • 1
  • J. Uddin
    • 2
  • J. O. Marston
    • 1
    Email author
  • I. U. Vakarelski
    • 1
  • S. T. Thoroddsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Physical Sciences and EngineeringKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.School of MathematicsUniversity of BirminghamEdgbastonUnited Kingdom

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