Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’
Understanding the dynamics of nucleation, breakup, and collapse of vapor bubbles is important for engineering in many diverse areas of practical applications in diverse areas such as hydro-turbine design, hydraulics, ultrasonic cleaning, liquid-based cooling systems, propulsion of naval vessels, etc. Advancement in this area has been made using a number of analytical and computational approaches. For example: The Rayleigh-Plesset equation and variations thereof, derived from the Navier-Stokes equation under certain assumptions, describes the dynamics of a spherically symmetric bubble in a quiescent liquid. Navier-Stokes solvers coupled with front-tracking methods have been used to study the asymmetric collapse of bubbles near walls and in the presence of irrotational flow. Lattice Boltzmann method simulations are capable of simulating multiphase liquid-vapor bubbles based on an underlying non-ideal equation of state, in turbulent flow regimes, and full temperature dynamics. With increases in computational capacity of highly parallel cluster computing, lattice Boltzmann simulations of vapor bubbles in turbulent 3D-systems are becoming feasible. As part of preliminary investigation toward this end we present the results of thermo-hydrodynamic lattice Boltzmann simulations of vapor bubbles in a simple sheared flow.
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