Improved prediction of sheet cavitation inception using bridged transition sensitive turbulence model and cavitation model
Journal article, 2021

Sheet cavitation inception can be influenced by laminar boundary layer flow separation under Reynolds numbers regimes with transitional flow. The lack of accurate prediction of laminar separation may lead to massive over-prediction of sheet cavitation under certain circumstances, including model scale hydrofoils and marine propellers operating at relatively low Reynolds number. For non-cavitating flows, the local correlation based transition model, γ − Reθ transition model, has been found to provide predictions of laminar separation and resulting boundary layer transition. In the present study, the predicted laminar separation using γ − Reθ transition model is bridged with a cavitation mass transfer model to improve sheet cavitation predictions on hydrofoils and model scale marine propellers. The bridged model is developed and applied to study laminar separation and sheet cavitation predictions on the NACA16012 hydrofoil under different Reynolds numbers and angles of attack. As a reference case, the open case of the PPTC VP1304 model scale marine propeller tested on an inclined shaft is studied. Lastly as an application case, the predictions of cavitation on a commercial marine propeller from Kongsberg is presented for model scale conditions. Simulations using the bridged model and the standard unbridged approach with k − ω SST turbulence model are performed using the open-source package OpenFOAM, both using the Schnerr–Sauer cavitation mass transfer model, and the respective results are compared with available experimental results. The predictions using the bridged model agree well compared to experimental measurements and show significant improvements compared to the unbridged approach.


γ − Re turbulence model θ

Laminar–turbulent transi-tion

Sheet cavitation inception

Laminar separation


Muye Ge

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

Urban Svennberg

Kongsberg Hydrodynamic Research Centre

Rickard Bensow

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

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering

20771312 (eISSN)

Vol. 9 12 1343

Subject Categories

Applied Mechanics

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics



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