Hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) may be harnessed to intensify a range of industrial processes, and orifice devices are one of the most widely used for HC. Despite the wide spread use, the influence of various design and operating parameters on generated cavitation is not yet adequately understood. This paper presents results of computational investigation into cavitation in different orifice designs over a range of operating conditions. Key geometric parameters like orifice thickness, hole inlet sharpness and wall angle on the cavitation behaviour is discussed quantitatively. Formulation and numerical solution of multiphase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models are presented. The simulated results in terms of velocity and pressure gradients, vapour volume fractions and turbulence quantities etc. are critically analysed and discussed. Orifice thickness was found to significantly influence cavitation behaviour, with the pressure ratio required to initiate cavitation found to vary by a factor of 10 for orifice thickness to diameter (l/d) ratios in the range of 0 – 5. Inlet radius similarly has a pronounced effect on cavitational activity. The results offer useful guidance to the designer of HC devices, identifying key parameters that can be manipulated to achieve the desired level of cavitational activity at optimised hydrodynamic efficiencies. The models can be used to simulate detailed time-pressure histories for individual vapour cavities, including turbulent fluctuations. This in turn can be used to simulate cavity collapse and overall performance of HC device. The presented approach and results offer a useful means to compare and evaluate different cavitation device designs and operating parameters.
- Hydrodynamic cavitation, orifice, CFD, multiphase, turbulent, design