The structure of near-wall re-entrant flow and its influence on cloud cavitation instability

Udhav Gawandalkar, Christian Poelma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract: The so-called ‘re-entrant jet’ is fundamental to periodic cloud shedding in partial cavitation. However, the exact physical mechanism governing this phenomenon remains ambiguous. The complicated topology of the re-entrant flow renders whole-field, detailed measurement of the re-entrant flow cumbersome. Hence, most studies in the past have derived a physical understanding of this phenomenon from qualitative analyses of the re-entrant jet. Thus, quantitative studies are scarce in the literature. In this work, we present a methodology to experimentally measure the re-entrant flow below the vapour cavity in an axisymmetric venturi. The axisymmetry of the flow geometry is exploited to image tracer particles in the near-wall re-entrant flow. The main objective of employing tomographic imaging and subsequent velocimetry is to resolve the thickness and the velocity of the re-entrant flow. Additionally, phase-averaging conditioned on cavity length sheds light on the temporal evolution of re-entrant flow in a shedding cycle. The measured re-entrant film is as thick as ∼ 1.2 mm for a maximum cavity length of ∼ 0.9 Dt, where Dt is the venturi throat diameter. However, the re-entrant film thickness at higher cavitation number is measured to be about 0.5 mm. Further, the re-entrant flow is seen to attain a maximum velocity up to half the throat velocity as the vapour cavity grows in time and the re-entrant flow thickens. We observe that a complex spatio-temporal evolution of re-entrant flow is involved in the cavity detachment and periodic cloud shedding. Finally, we apply the demonstrated methodology to study the evolution of the near-wall liquid flow, below the vapour cavity in different cavity shedding flow regimes. The role of two main mechanisms responsible for cloud shedding, i.e. (i) the adverse-pressure gradient driven re-entrant jet, and (ii) the bubbly shock wave emanating from the cloud collapse are quantitatively assessed. We observe that the thickness of the re-entrant liquid film with respect to the cavity thickness can influence the cavity shedding behaviour. Further, we show that both the mechanisms could be operating at a given flow condition, with one of them dominating to dictate the cloud shedding behaviour. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
Number of pages19
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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