Numerical investigations of pressure distribution inside a ventilated supercavity

Lei Cao, Ashish Karn, Roger E.A. Arndt, Zhengwei Wang, Jiarong Hong

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49 Scopus citations


A numerical study has been conducted on the internal pressure distribution of a ventilated supercavity generated from a backward facing cavitator under different air entrainment coefficients, Froude numbers, and blockage ratios. An Eulerian multiphase model with a free surface model is employed and validated by the experiments conducted at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory of the University of Minnesota. The results show that the internal pressure in the major portion of the supercavity is primarily governed by the hydrostatic pressure of water, while a steep adverse pressure gradient occurs at the closure region. Increasing the air entrainment coefficient does not largely change the pressure distribution, while the cavity tail extends longer and consequently the pressure gradient near the closure decreases. At smaller Froude number, there is a more pronounced gravitational effect on the supercavity with increasing uplift of the lower surface of the cavity and a decreasing uniformity of the pressure distribution in the supercavity. With the increase of blockage ratio, the overall pressure within the supercavity decreases as well as the pressure gradient in the main portion of the supercavity. The current study shows that the assumption of uniform pressure distribution in ventilated supercavities is not always valid, especially at low Fr. However, an alternative definition of cavitation number in such cases remains to be defined and experimentally ascertained in future investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021301
JournalJournal of Fluids Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


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