Numerical and experimental analysis of cavitation inception behaviour for high-skewed low-noise propellers
Journal article, 2018

Numerical and experimental investigations of two highly skewed low-noise propellers with a slight alteration in the tip geometry are conducted in both wetted and cavitating flows. The performance of the propellers is measured in open water and inclined setups at different operating conditions and high speed video recordings are used to determine tip vortex cavitation inception behaviour. The numerical simulations are conducted by employing the Implicit Large Eddy Simulation on appropriate grid resolutions for tip vortex propagation, at least 32 cells per vortex diameter according to our previous studies. In order to investigate cavitation inception characteristics of the propellers, different inception prediction methods are employed and evaluated at different advance ratios.

It is shown that in addition to the well-captured difference in e.g. the amount of cavitation, the simulations are capable of correctly predicting the small but crucial differences in flow features and cavitation inception characteristics of the two propeller designs. Numerical predictions of the cavitation inception charts are also compared successfully with the measured data where three different types of cavitation patterns are investigated in details. Supported by the experimental videos, the interaction between the tip vortex and trailing vortices and their impact on the pressure field and the cavitation inception are analyzed. It is shown that the numerical simulation can provide further details about the vortical flow structures, and their contributions to cavitation, and is a powerful tool in advanced propeller design stages.


High skewed propeller



tip vortex


Abolfazl Asnaghi

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

Urban Svennberg

Rolls-Royce (Swe)

Rickard Bensow

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

Applied Ocean Research

0141-1187 (ISSN)

Vol. 79 197-214

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering

Applied Mechanics

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics

Areas of Advance



Basic sciences


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)



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