The focus of this research proposal is the experimental characterization of fuel cavitation in flow through a converging-diverging nozzle. Cavitation of fuel presents additional complexities (as compared to that in water) because fuel is a multi-component mixture. In any practical engineering environment, large quantities of solid microparticles are resident in the fuel. Gas nuclei trapped on these microparticles has been shown to enhance bubble production in water, and their effect on fuel cavitation is an issue that will be investigated. Measurements also will be made with cavitating water for comparison. A converging-diverging nozzle was chosen as the means for producing cavitation because its type of area constriction is similar to other flow devices such as valves and pumps. Cavitating C-D nozzle flows also have been modeled extensively in the literature. The data that will be acquired include axial pressure profiles, nozzle flow rate, high-speed images of the cavitating region, axial void fraction profiles, and axial velocity profiles. Pressure, velocity, and flow rate data will be used to determine the pressure ratios and limiting mass flow rates when the nozzle is choked. High speed images will be used to identify the structures present in the two-phase region (whether the gaseous voids are spherical bubbles or amorphous slugs. Axial void fraction data will provide information on gas evolution in the flow. Experimental data for cavitating nozzle flows are limited to water cases where bubble nucleation is not a primary source of the two-phase mixture. The proposed research hopes to provide detailed pressure, void-fraction, and velocity measurements for comparison with existing models. The main differences between fuel and water cavitation will be highlighted.

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