Numerical simulation and analysis of multi-scale cavitating flows
Journal article, 2021

Cavitating flows include vapour structures with a wide range of different length scales, from micro-bubbles to large cavities. The correct estimation of small-scale cavities can be as important as that of large-scale structures, because cavitation inception as well as the resulting noise, erosion and strong vibrations occur at small time and length scales. In this study, a multi-scale cavitating flow around a sharp-edged bluff body is investigated. For numerical analysis, while popular homogeneous mixture models are practical options for large-scale applications, they are normally limited in the representation of small-scale cavities. Therefore, a hybrid cavitation model is developed by coupling a mixture model with a Lagrangian bubble model. The Lagrangian model is based on a four-way coupling approach, which includes new submodels, to consider various small-scale phenomena in cavitation dynamics. Additionally, the coupling of the mixture and the Lagrangian models is based on an improved algorithm that is compatible with the flow physics. The numerical analysis provides a detailed description of the multi-scale dynamics of cavities as well as the interactions between vapour structures of various scales and the continuous flow. The results, among others, show that small-scale cavities not only are important at the inception and collapse steps, but also influence the development of large-scale structures. Furthermore, a comparison of the results with those from experiment shows considerable improvements in both predicting the large cavities and capturing the small-scale structures using the hybrid model. More accurate results (compared with the traditional mixture model) can be achieved even with a lower mesh resolution.


bubble dynamics

multiphase flow


Ebrahim Ghahramani

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Henrik Ström

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

Rickard Bensow

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Journal of Fluid Mechanics

0022-1120 (ISSN) 1469-7645 (eISSN)

Vol. 922 A22

Development and experimental validation of computational models for cavitating flows, surface erosion damage and material loss (CaFE)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/642536), 2015-01-01 -- 2019-01-01.

Subject Categories

Applied Mechanics

Other Physics Topics

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)



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8/4/2021 1