A mathematical method was conducted to investigate the mechanism of formation of cavitation cloud, while the inlet stream contains a fluctuating flow. Based on the Rayleigh–Plesset equation and the static pressure distribution in a cone flow channel, parameters related to cavitation cloud are estimated, and the collapse pressure of the cavitation cloud is obtained by solving the equation of Mørch’s model. Moreover, the effect of the amplitude and frequency of inlet fluctuation on cavitation is studied. Results revealed that the smaller the amplitude, the smaller the cloud and the lower the collapse pressure. And frequency of fluctuating stream was found to have a relative great effect on frequency of peak pressure but not so significant on peak collapse pressure and size of cloud. It is concluded that limiting the inlet fluctuation reduces the erosion and noise generated by cavitation collapse.

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