Jets produced by the interaction of collapsing cavitating bubbles containing high-pressure gases can be utilized for wide variety of applications e.g. particle erosion, medical purposes (lithotripsy, sonoporation), tannery effluent treatment, etc. Among the many parameters, this jetting is largely influenced by spatial orientation of bubbles, their times of inception, relative bubble size ratio. In this context, multiple cavitating bubbles are able to generate numerous simultaneous jets, under suitable conditions, hence operating over a wider coverage area. Such multi-bubble arrangements can go a long way in enhancing the erosive impact on a target location even at cryogenic temperature (< 123 K) and hence necessitate investigation.
In this paper, different configurations of multiple-bubble interactions are numerically simulated to examine jets directed towards a target location (fictitious particle, cell etc.) using computational fluid dynamics. No phase change is considered and the effect of gravity is neglected. The transient behaviour of the interface between the two interacting fluids (bubble and ambient liquid) is modelled using VOF (volume of fluid) method.
In this paper, results obtained for different bubble configurations through numerical simulation are validated against suitable literature and further explored to assess the resulting jet effects. The time histories of interacting bubbles are presented and the consequent flow-fields are evaluated by the pressure and velocity distributions obtained. The same calculation is repeated in cryogenic environment and the results are compared. An attempt is made to approach towards an optimum arrangement and conditions for particle erosion.