Pressure waves created in liquid mercury pulsed spallation targets have been shown to create cavitation damage to the target container. One way to mitigate such damage would be to absorb the pressure pulse energy into a dispersed population of small bubbles, however, creating such a population in mercury is difficult due to the high surface tension and particularly the non-wetting behavior of mercury on gas-injection hardware. If the larger injected gas bubbles can be broken down into small bubbles after they are introduced to the flow, then the material interface problem is avoided. Research at the Oak Ridge National Labarotory is underway to develop a technique that has shown potential to provide an adequate population of small-enough bubbles to a flowing spallation target. This technique involves gas injection at an orifice of a geometry that is optimized to the turbulence intensity and pressure distribution of the flow, while avoiding coalescence of gas at injection sites. The most successful geometry thus far can be described as a square-toothed orifice having a 2.5 bar pressure drop in the mercury flow of 8 L/s for one of the target inlet legs. High-speed video and high-resolution photography have been used to quantify the bubble population on the surface of the mercury downstream of the gas injection site. Also, computational fluid dynamics has been used to optimize the dimensions of the toothed orifice based on a RANS computed mean flow including turbulent energies such that the turbulent dissipation and pressure field are best suited for turbulent break-up of the gas bubbles.
- Fluids Engineering Division
Creating Small Gas Bubbles in Flowing Mercury Using Turbulence at an Orifice
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Wendel, M, Abdou, A, Paquit, V, Felde, D, & Riemer, B. "Creating Small Gas Bubbles in Flowing Mercury Using Turbulence at an Orifice." Proceedings of the ASME 2010 3rd Joint US-European Fluids Engineering Summer Meeting collocated with 8th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels. ASME 2010 3rd Joint US-European Fluids Engineering Summer Meeting: Volume 2, Fora. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. August 1–5, 2010. pp. 1-6. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/FEDSM-ICNMM2010-30134
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