Numerical Prediction of Erosive Collapse Events in Unsteady Compressible Cavitating Flows

  • Michael S. MihatschEmail author
  • Steffen J. Schmidt
  • Matthias Thalhamer
  • Nikolaus A. Adams
Part of the Computational Methods in Applied Sciences book series (COMPUTMETHODS, volume 29)


The objective of the present investigation is the numerical prediction of the potential of a flow to inflict surface damage by cavitation. For this purpose, physical criteria are derived that detect and quantify relevant flow phenomena. In particular, we present a numerical approach for tracing isolated collapses of vapor clouds during the numerical simulation of the flow. The suggested “collapse detector” provides the frequency of collapses, their positions, and resulting maximum pressures, as well as the maximum condensation rate of each event. This data, together with the maximum wall pressure, allow for an automatic indication of erosion-sensitive areas.

The employed flow solver CATUM (CAvitation Technische Universität München) is a density-based 3-D finite volume method equipped with a Low-Mach-number consistent flux function. All fluid components (liquid, vapor, saturated mixture) are modeled by closed form equations of state.

To assess this novel approach we simulate an experimentally investigated nozzle-target flow. A comparison of numerically predicted collapse events with the experimentally observed areas of cavitation erosion substantiates the proposed methodology. The obtained data represents a time-history of collapse events together with their position and strength, and may be used to estimate erosion rates.


Cavitation Erosion Numerical simulation Multiphase flow 



We would like to thank Jean-Pierre Franc for providing detailed information on his experimental setup as well as for fruitful discussions and suggestions. All computational resources have been provided by the Leibniz Supercomputing Center.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael S. Mihatsch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steffen J. Schmidt
    • 1
  • Matthias Thalhamer
    • 1
  • Nikolaus A. Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Aerodynamics and Fluid MechanicsTechnische Universität MünchenGarchingGermany

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