Numerical Investigation of Homogeneous Cavitation Nucleation in a Microchannel

Numerical simulation of homogeneous nucleation in comparison with the experimental results.

Motivation and Objectives

Liquid and gas (or vapor) two-phase flows ar e widely encountered in many chemical, biological, and engineering applications; here bubble cloud dynamics are of fundamental importance. Examples reach from ultrasonic cleaning through medical therapy applications to bacteria disinfection processes. In such flows, bubble nucleation, initializing liquid-to-vapor transition, can be categorized into heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation. These differ with respect to where nucleation occurs. The former emerges from surfaces in contact with two liquids, the latter relies on impurities in the bulk liquid and thus is more difficult to localize and detect in experiments.

Approach to Solution

We investigate numerically homogeneous nucleation in a microchannel induced by shock reflection to gain a better understanding of the mechanism of homogeneous nucleation. The liquid expands due to the reflected shock and homogeneous cavitation nuclei are generated. An Eulerian-Lagrangian approach is employed for modeling this process in a micro-channel.

Key Results

  • A conservative interface-interaction method for compressible multi-material flows. S. C. Pan, X.Y. Hu, N. A. Adams, Journal of Computational Physics, Vol. 371 (2018), pp. 870-895
  • Numerical investigation of homogeneous cavitation nucleation in a microchannel. X.X. Lyu, S. C. Pan, X.Y. Hu, N. A. Adams, Physical Review Fluids, Vol. 3, Issue 6, (2018) 064303
  • A Consistent Analytical Formulation for Volume Estimation of Geometries Enclosed by Implicitly Defined Surfaces. S. C. Pan, X.Y. Hu, N. A. Adams, SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, Vol. 40, Issue 3 (2018) A1523-A1543