In this study, a single cavitation bubble is generated by rotating a U-tube filled with water. A series of bubble collapse flows induced by pressure waves of different strengths are investigated by positioning the cavitation bubble at different stand-off distances to a solid boundary. Particle images of bubble collapse flow recorded by high speed CCD camera are analyzed by multi-grid, iterative particle image distortion method. Detail velocity variations of the transient bubble collapse flow are obtained. It is found that a Kelvin–Helmholtz vortex is formed when a liquid jet penetrates the bubble surface. If the bubble center to the solid boundary is within one to three times of the bubble radius, the liquid jet is able to impinge the solid boundary to form a stagnation ring. The fluid inside the stagnation ring will be squeezed toward the center of the ring to form a counter jet. At certain critical position, the bubble collapse flow will produce a Kelvin–Helmholtz vortex, the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability, or the generation of a counter jet flow, depending on the strengths of the pressure waves. If the bubble surface is in contact with the solid boundary, the liquid jet can only splash inside-out without producing the stagnation ring and the counter jet. The complex phenomenon of cavitation bubble collapse flows is clearly manifested in this study.

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