Intense cavitation at extreme static pressure

Yuri A Pishchalnikov, Joel Gutierrez, Wylene W Dunbar, Richard W Philpott
Ultrasonics 2016, 65: 380-9
Cavitation is usually performed at hydrostatic pressures at or near 0.1 MPa. Higher static pressure produces more intense cavitation, but requires an apparatus that can build high amplitude acoustic waves with rarefactions exceeding the cavitation threshold. The absence of such an apparatus has prevented the achievement of intense acoustic cavitation, hindering research and the development of new applications. Here we describe a new high-pressure spherical resonator system, as well as experimental and modeling results in water and liquid metal (gallium), for cavitation at hydrostatic pressures between 10 and 150 MPa. Our computational data, using HYADES plasma hydrodynamics code, show the formation of dense plasma that, under these conditions, reaches peak pressures of about three to four orders of magnitude greater than the hydrostatic pressure in the bulk liquid and temperatures in the range of 100,000 K. Passive cavitation detection (PCD) data validate both a linear increase in shock wave amplitude and the production of highly intense concentrations of mechanical energy in the collapsing bubbles. High-speed camera observations show the formation of bubble clusters from single bubbles. The increased shock wave amplitude produced by bubble clusters, measured using PCD and fiber optic probe hydrophone, was consistent with current understanding that bubble clusters enable amplification of energy produced.

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