X-ray Computed Tomography of Cavitating Flow in a Converging-Diverging Nozzle
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Cavitation is a complex multiphase phenomenon, where the production of vapor bubbles leads to opaqueness of the flow. While it is nearly impossible to visualize the interior of the cavitation region with visible light, we show that with X-ray computed tomography it is possible to obtain the time-averaged void fraction distribution in an axisymmetric converging-diverging nozzle (venturi). This technique is based on the amount of energy absorbed by the material, based on its density and thickness. Time-averaged 3D reconstruction of the X-ray images is used (i) to distinguish between vapor and liquid phase, (ii) to get radial geometric features of the flow, and (iii) to quantify the local void fraction. The results show the presence of intense cavitation at the walls of the venturi, and the vapor fraction decreases downstream of the venturi with the vapor cloud.