The prediction of cavitation in a design procedure is very important for fluid machinery. However, the behaviors of cavitation development in the flow passage are believed to be much different due to scale effects, when the characteristic size varies greatly for fluid machines such as pumps, turbines and propellers. In order to understand the differences in cavitation development, the evolution of cavity pattern in two hydro foils were recorded by high-speed video apparatus. Both foils have the same section profile, and their chord lengths are 70mm and 14mm respectively. For comparison, the cavitating flows around two foils were numerically simulated using a cavitation model based on Rayleigh-Plesset equation and SST k-ω turbulence model. The experiments depicted that for both hydro foils, there was attached sheet cavitation near the leading edge, which separated from the rear part of the cavity and collapsed near the foil trailing edge. There was clear cloud cavitation in the case of the mini foil. The results also indicated that the numerical simulation captured the cavitation evolution for the ordinary foil quite well compared with the experiments, but could hardly predict the cloud cavitation for the mini foil. Thus, it is believed that both the cavitation model and the turbulence model should be carefully treated for the scale effect on cavitation development in fluid machinery.

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