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E. A. Brujan and P. R. Willaims, Rheology Reviews 2005, pp 147 - 172.


Emil A. Brujan1 and P. Rhodri Williams2

1 Department of Hydraulics, University Politehnica, 060042 Bucharest, Romania 2 Centre for Complex Fluids Processing, School of Engineering, University of Wales Swansea SA2 8PP, UK


Cavitation phenomena play important roles in many areas of science and engineering. The most interesting effect of the non-Newtonian properties of the liquid is the reduction of cavitation damage and noise. This article reviews experimental and theoretical efforts to understand such phenomena. The currently available information favors a description of the observed reduction of cavitation damage caused by a reduction of the pressure inside the bubble at its minimum volume, leading to a weaker shock wave emission during bubble rebound. After a brief historical review, the authors survey the major areas of research: Section 2 describes the dynamics of cavitation bubbles oscillating in a liquid of infinite extent, while Section 3 describes research on the behaviour of bubbles collapsing near rigid walls. Section IV discusses the role of the non-Newtonian properties in determining the cavitation threshold. The review also outlines some directions for future research.

KEYWORDS: Bubble dynamics, cavitation, viscoelasticity, extensional flow, liquid tensile strength


Cavitation phenomena play important roles in many areas of science and engineering, including acoustics, biomedicine, botany, sonochemistry and hydraulics. They occur in numerous industrial processes such as cleaning, lubrication, printing and coating. While much of the research effort into cavitation has been stimulated by its occurrence in pumps and other fluid mechanical machinery, cavitation is also an important factor in the life of plants and animals [1-4].

The most intensively studied consequence of cavitation is the occurrence of erosion or cavitation damage to solid surfaces in the near vicinity of collapsing cavities, but other widely known effects include reduced hydraulic performance and the generation of excessive vibration and noise. Numerous references may be found to different types of cavitation but all may be discussed in terms of the formation and subsequent activity of bubbles (or cavities, or voids) whose contents may be gaseous,

© The British Society of Rheology, 2005 ( 147

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