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A Rational Explanation of Cavitation Bubbles and Its Application to Two Industrial Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Earl J. Beck

Independent Inventor, Oak View, CA

Paper No. HT-FED2004-56070, pp. 371-379; 9 pages
  • ASME 2004 Heat Transfer/Fluids Engineering Summer Conference
  • Volume 3
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, July 11–15, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4692-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3740-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Cavitation (steam) bubbles have been the scourge of industrial pumps and turbines, causing both loss of efficiency and destructive erosion. While some aspects of the formation, growth and collapse have been understood for some time, the underlying theory has not been forthcoming until now. In particular, a common observation is not known to have been explained. When a small steam bubble releases from a heated surface at the bottom of a container, it grows as it rises into cooler water. Persons questioned on why this growth occurs over the past 30 years consistently have invoked Boyles’s law which, of course, pertains to a permanent gas. This paper answers the growth question and further describes how, with sufficient nuclei a low-density foam of steam bubbles, frequently referred to as “volume boiling” may be formed and usefully used in two industrial applications. It is believed that many useful applications may result from the understanding revealed here.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Cavitation , Bubbles



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