Probing into gas leakage characteristics of ventilated supercavity through bubbly wake measurement

Siyao Shao, Jiaqi Li, Kyungduck Yoon, Jiarong Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The stability of ventilated supercavitation is strongly influenced by gas leakage characteristics of the cavity. In this study we conduct a systematic investigation of such characteristics under different closure conditions including re-entrant jet (RJ), quad vortex (QV), twin vortex (TV), and pulsating twin vortex (PTV), generated from different tunnel speeds and ventilation conditions. Using high speed digital inline holography (DIH), all the individual bubbles shed from the cavity are imaged downstream and are used to quantify the instantaneous gas leakage from the cavity. In general, the supercavity gas leakage exhibits significant fluctuations under all closure types with the instantaneous leakage rate spiking up to 20 times of the ventilation input under RJ and QV closures. However, the magnitude and occurrence rate (frequency) of such excessive gas leakage (above ventilation input) vary substantially across different closures, tunnel speeds and ventilation conditions. Particularly, as the supercavity transitions from RJ, to QV, TV, and PTV with increasing ventilation or decreasing tunnel speed, the relative excessive gas leakage decreases sharply from RJ to QV, plateaus from QV to TV, and drops again from TV to PTV. Correspondingly, the occurrence frequency of such excessive leakage first exhibits a double peak distribution under RJ, migrates to a single peak mode under QV and TV, and eventually transitions to a distribution with a broadened peak at a higher frequency under PTV. These trends can be explained by the flow instabilities associated with three gas leakage mechanisms, i.e., re-entrant jet impingement leakage, vortex tube gas leakage, and cavity pulsation induced bubble pocket shed-off, whose relative significance changes under different closure and flow conditions. Subsequently, two metrics are introduced to quantify the relative change of ventilation needed to compensate the change of extra gas loss and the predictability of the occurrence of excessive gas leakage, respectively. Based on these metrics, we suggest that the supercavity operating under TV closure with moderate ventilation is optimal for ventilation-based controls of supercavity stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110457
JournalOcean Engineering
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Bubbly wake
  • Digital inline holography
  • Gas leakage characteristics
  • Ventilated supercavitation


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