One option that shows promise for protecting solid surfaces from cavitation damage in liquid metal spallation targets involves introducing an interstitial gas layer between the liquid metal and the containment vessel wall. Several approaches toward establishing such a protective gas layer are being investigated at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory including large bubble injection and methods that involve stabilization of the layer by surface modifications to enhance gas hold-up on the wall or by inserting a porous media. It has previously been reported that using a gas layer configuration in a test target showed an order-of-magnitude decrease in damage for an in-beam experiment. Video images that were taken of the successful gas/mercury flow configuration have been analyzed and correlated. The results show that the success was obtained under conditions where only 60% of the solid wall was covered with gas. Such a result implies that this mitigation scheme may have much more potential. Additional experiments with gas injection into water are underway. Multi-component flow simulations are also being used to provide direction for these new experiments. These simulations have been used to size the gas layer and position multiple inlet nozzles.

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