Experiments in Fluids

, 60:66 | Cite as

Multimodal partial cavity shedding on a two-dimensional hydrofoil and its relation to the presence of bubbly shocks

  • Juliana Wu
  • Harish GaneshEmail author
  • Steven Ceccio
Research Article


The shedding dynamics of partial cavitation forming on a NACA0015 hydrofoil is known from the previous studies to be multimodal, exhibiting abrupt changes in Strouhal number as the cavitation number is reduced (Arndt et al. in Instability of partial cavitation: a numerical/experimental approach. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy., 2000). The present study aims to understand the underlying shedding mechanisms responsible for this abrupt change in dynamics. As was observed in Ganesh et al. (J Fluid Mech 802:37–78, 2016), the shedding process can result from both re-entrant liquid flow and the formation of propagating bubbly shock waves within the cavity. Time-resolved X-ray densitometry and high-speed videography are combined with time synchronous measurements of acoustic noise produced by the cavity to examine the formation and shedding of the partial cavitation on a NACA0015 hydrofoil. From the experiments on the hydrofoil, it was observed that the mean cavity length increased with decreasing cavitation number, as expected. At higher pressures, stable partial cavities formed that shed smaller vapor clouds mainly due to the re-entrant liquid flow in the cavity closure. With a reduction in cavitation number, the partial cavity grew in length, and shedding often occurred when the cavity was pinched-off from its leading edge. Once a large region of vapor was shed, the pressure pulse caused by its subsequent collapse could suppress the growth of the newly forming partial cavity. This feedback led to complex, multistep cavity shedding dynamics. At still lower cavitation numbers, bubbly shocks were found to be responsible for the strongest periodic shedding of vapor clouds. Spectral analysis of the acoustic signal revealed a multimodal nature, which was more pronounced at lower cavitation numbers, and similar dynamic behavior was also found for the time varying local void fraction measurements in the vicinity of cavity closure. The occurrence of strongest multimodal behavior was also characterized by the presence of bubbly shock waves as the dominant mechanism of shedding. From the measurements and analysis, it is concluded that at least four different types of shedding modes occurred over a range of cavitation numbers at a fixed attack angle (10°).

Graphical abstract



The authors would like to thank Office of Naval Research for funding this study, under the grant number: this work was supported by the Office of Naval Research under Grant N00014-14-1-0292, Dr. Ki-Han Kim Program Manager.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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