Influence of Turbulence and Thermophysical Fluid Properties on Cavitation Erosion Predictions in Channel Flow Geometries

WCX SAE World Congress Experience
Authors Abstract
Cavitation and cavitation-induced erosion have been observed in fuel injectors in regions of high acceleration and low pressure. Although these phenomena can have a large influence on the performance and lifetime of injector hardware, questions still remain on how these physics should be accurately and efficiently represented within a computational fluid dynamics model. While several studies have focused on the validation of cavitation predictions within canonical and realistic injector geometries, it is not well documented what influence the numerical and physical parameters selected to represent turbulence and phase change will have on the predictions for cavitation erosion propensity and severity.
In this work, a range of numerical and physical parameters are evaluated within the mixture modeling approach in CONVERGE to understand their influence on predictions of cavitation, condensation and erosion. Particular attention is paid to grid resolution, turbulence model and near-wall treatment, fuel surrogate properties, and non-condensable gas content. Assessment of cavitation predictions are conducted through comparison of measured and predicted mass flow rates and cavitation probability distributions for flow through a channel with a sharp inlet. Predictions for hydrodynamic impact loading and cavitation erosion are compared with the experimentally measured incubation period and critical site for erosion. Based on these findings, recommendations are provided for modeling turbulent cavitating flows, using the single fluid mixture modeling approach, to improve predictions for cavitation-induced erosion. In particular, to capture the fluid dynamic phenomena characterizing cavitation cloud formation, development and shedding, a Large Eddy simulation with grid resolution as fine as 2.50 μm is recommended. The assumed concentration of non-condensable gas content is observed to have a strong influence on the predicted cavitation erosion severity, which motivates the need for dissolved gas concentration measurements for future cavitation erosion experimental studies. Using the best practices established in this work, good agreement is achieved between the measured and predicted cavitation parameters, as well as the critical site for cavitation-induced erosion.
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Magnotti, G., Battistoni, M., Saha, K., and Som, S., "Influence of Turbulence and Thermophysical Fluid Properties on Cavitation Erosion Predictions in Channel Flow Geometries," SAE Int. J. Adv. & Curr. Prac. in Mobility 1(2):691-705, 2019,
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Apr 2, 2019
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Journal Article