Modeling laser-generated cavitation bubbles

C. M. Christian, E. G. Paterson, A. A. Fontaine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Cavitation in turbomachinery can impact performance and lifecycle. The formation and collapse of cavitating bubbles near a surface releases significant energy in a very short time often resulting in erosion damage. Considerable research has focused on understanding the physics of bubble formation and collapse, and how this collapse relates to surface erosion. To date this has been an elusive goal due to the process physics, flow and temporal scales and experimental and computational limitations. This research focused on developing a computational model of cavitation bubble formation and collapse to be used to develop erosion prediction tools. The dynamics associated with the formation of a laser-pulse generated bubble and its collapse against a solid wall was computationally modeled with OpenFOAM using a compressible multi-phase pressure-based solver. A conservation of energy model was developed to predict the localized heating occurring at the focal point of the laser. The temporal bubble dynamics - growth, collapse, rebound and associated flow characteristics of high speed re-entrant jet and high pressure waves were modelled as a function of bubble stand-off distance. Results were compared to published research. The model successfully computes bubble formation and collapse dynamics, re-entrant jet structure and magnitude, the associated pressure field, and sensitivity to stand-off distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, AFMC 2012
EditorsP.A. Brandner, B.W. Pearce
PublisherAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Society
ISBN (Electronic)9780646583730
StatePublished - 2012
Event18th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, AFMC 2012 - Launceston, Australia
Duration: Dec 3 2012Dec 7 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 18th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, AFMC 2012


Other18th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, AFMC 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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