Direct comparison of shadowgraphy and x-ray imaging for void fraction determination

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A quantitative analysis of two imaging modalities, shadowgraphy and x-ray imaging, is presented in the framework of void fraction determination. The need for this arises from the fact that shadowgraphs are sometimes utilized to quantify void fraction profiles, which is an unproven method. Time-averaged x-ray images are used to evaluate the performance of the time-averaged shadowgraphs. The case of a cavitating flow through an axisymmetric converging-diverging nozzle ('venturi') is considered, for three separate cavitation numbers. The complex nature of the cavitating flow through the venturi manifests itself in the occurrence of three distinct regimes: a swarm of tiny bubbles; a large, coalesced cavity near the wall; and a drifting/collapsing cavity. The flow regime governs the performance of shadowgraphy for void fraction determination, with two of the three regimes deemed acceptable for shadowgraphy. The quantitative comparison exemplifies that sole reliance on shadowgraphy may lead one to draw improper conclusions on the void fraction distributions, even at a qualitative level.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125303
Number of pages11
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • shadowgraphy
  • x-ray imaging
  • cavitation
  • venturi
  • void fraction estimation


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