Cavitation (steam) bubbles have been the scourge of industrial pumps and turbines, causing both loss of efficiency and destructive erosion. While some aspects of the formation, growth and collapse have been understood for some time, the underlying theory has not been forthcoming until now. In particular, a common observation is not known to have been explained. When a small steam bubble releases from a heated surface at the bottom of a container, it grows as it rises into cooler water. Persons questioned on why this growth occurs over the past 30 years consistently have invoked Boyles’s law which, of course, pertains to a permanent gas. This paper answers the growth question and further describes how, with sufficient nuclei a low-density foam of steam bubbles, frequently referred to as “volume boiling” may be formed and usefully used in two industrial applications. It is believed that many useful applications may result from the understanding revealed here.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.