Cavitation erosion is a material damage phenomenon caused by the repeated application of impulsive pressure on a material surface induced by bubble collapse, and the establishment of a method by which to numerically predict cavitation erosion is desired. In the present study, a numerical quantitative prediction method of cavitation erosion in a cavitating flow is proposed. In the present method, a one-way coupled analysis of a cavitating flow field based on a gas-liquid two-phase Navier–Stokes equation (Eulerian) and bubbles in the cavitating flow by bubble dynamics (Lagrangian) is used to treat temporally and spatially different scale phenomena, such as the macroscopic phenomenon of a cavitating flow and the microscopic phenomenon of bubble collapse. Impulsive pressures acting on a material surface are evaluated based on the bubble collapse position, time, and intensity, and the erosion rate is quantitatively predicted using an existing material-dependent relationship between the impulsive energy (square of the impulsive force) and the maximum erosion rate. The erosion rate on a NACA0015 hydrofoil surface in an unsteady transient cavitating flow is predicted by the proposed method. The distribution of the predicted erosion rate corresponds qualitatively to the distribution of an experimental surface roughness increment of the same hydrofoil. Furthermore, the predicted erosion rate considering the bubble nuclei distribution is found to be of the same order of magnitude as the actual erosion rate, which indicates that considering bubble nuclei distribution is important for the prediction of cavitation erosion and that the present prediction method is valid to some degree.

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