Numerical Study of Unsteady Cavitating Flows around a Hydrofoil


Laboratory of Hydraulic and Environmental Modeling, National Engineering School of Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia.


In this paper, we report the results of a numerical investigation on unsteady cavitating flows around a circular leading edge (CLE) hydrofoil. The objective of this study is to properly predict the appearance of cavitation pocket, its development and its detachment causing adverse effects on industrial systems such as microscopic plastic deformations at the solid walls. For this reason it is very important to study the influence of turbulence models on simulation results. We present a closing of the hydrodynamic equation system by a transport equation of an active scalar (volume fraction of the vapor phase) with a source terms. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code used is ANSYS CFX. Before comparing the capability of the different turbulent models to predict unsteady behavior of cavitating flow along the hydrofoil, the study of the influence of the mesh resolution was performed in cavitating condition. This investigation was performed, on CLE hydrofoil, by monitoring the influence of for progressively finer meshes on the values of the drag CD and lift CL coefficients. Moreover, a study of the influence of the normal dimensionless distance to the wall (y+) was carried out on the hydrofoil surface. For the unsteady flow, a comparison of different turbulence models with the experiment leads to study the interaction of these models with the vapor pocket (detachment and collapse of vapor pocket). Two turbulence models were tested in this study: modified k-ε model and large eddy simulation (LES). In the present work, the predictions of velocity and pressure evolutions in the vicinity of the hydrofoil are compared to experimental data.