A numerical method to simulate turbulent cavitating flows

A. Gnanaskandan, Krishnan Mahesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The objective of this paper is to develop a numerical method for simulating multiphase cavitating flows on unstructured grids. The multiphase medium is represented using a homogeneous mixture model that assumes thermal equilibrium between the liquid and vapor phases. We develop a predictor-corrector approach to solve the governing Navier-Stokes equations for the liquid/vapor mixture, together with the transport equation for the vapor mass fraction. While a non-dissipative and symmetric scheme is used in the predictor step, a novel characteristic-based filtering scheme with a second order TVD filter is developed for the corrector step to handle shocks and material discontinuities in non-ideal gases and mixtures. Additionally, a sensor based on vapor volume fraction is proposed to localize dissipation to the vicinity of discontinuities. The scheme is first validated for simple one dimensional canonical problems to verify its accuracy in predicting jump conditions across material discontinuities and shocks. It is then applied to two turbulent cavitating flow problems - over a hydrofoil using RANS and over a wedge using LES. Our results show that the simulations are in good agreement with experimental data for the above tested cases, and that the scheme can be successfully applied to both RANS and LES methodologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-34
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Cavitation
  • Characteristic-based filtering
  • Finite volume methods
  • Multiphase flows
  • Unstructured grids


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