Numerical Simulations of Collapsing Cavitation Bubbles
The destructive power of cavitation is evident in applications ranging from the erosion of naval propellers to soft tissue ablation. While relatively well understood in the context of hard materials (e.g., metals), cavitation-induced damage mechanisms to soft matter are not well known. We will conduct high-resolution numerical simulations of the collapse of individual and multiple gas bubbles near rigid and compliant surfaces to shed light onto these damage mechanisms. We have developed a computational framework for massively parallel simulations of the three-dimensional compressible Navier-Stokes equations for gas-liquid flows, further extended to include (viscoelastic) deformations of neighboring solids. Our simulations will yield detailed non-spherical bubble morphologies, highly resolved pressure and temperature fields, and stresses/deformations of the neighboring solid. This knowledge and the data will enable the development of models for bubble-bubble interactions and bubble clouds, to be used in biomedical or naval hydrodynamic applications of interest.