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Collapse of an initially spherical vapour cavity in the neighbourhood of a solid boundary

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 March 2006

Milton S. Plesset
California Institute of Technology
Richard B. Chapman
California Institute of Technology


Vapour bubble collapse problems lacking spherical symmetry are solved here using a numerical method designed especially for these problems. Viscosity and compressibility in the liquid are neglected. Two specific cases of initially spherical bubbles collapsing near a plane solid wall were simulated: a bubble initially in contact with the wall, and a bubble initially half its radius from the wall at the closest point. It is shown that the bubble develops a jet directed towards the wall rather early in the collapse history. Free surface shapes and velocities are presented at various stages in the collapse. Velocities are scaled like (Δp/ρ)½ where ρ is the density of the liquid and Δp is the constant difference between the ambient liquid pressure and the pressure in the cavity. For \[ \Delta p/\rho = 10^6 {\rm cm}^2/\sec^2 \approx 1\, \hbox{atm/density of water} \] the jet had a speed of about 130m/sec in the first case and 170m/sec in the second when it struck the opposite side of the bubble. Such jet velocities are of a magnitude which can explain cavitation damage. The jet develops so early in the bubble collapse history that compressibility effects in the liquid and the vapour are not important.

Research Article
© 1971 Cambridge University Press

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