The Use of Piezoelectric Film in Cavitation Research

by Saurav Paul, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,
Christopher R. Ellis, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,
Roger E. A. Arndt, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Fundamentals and Advancements in Hydraulic Measurements and Experimentation


A research program was conducted at the St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory to investigate impulse pressures caused by the collapse of transient cavitation bubbles. The impulse pressures associated with vibratory as well as hydrodynamic cavitation were measured. A stationary specimen subjected to vibratory cavitation and a hydrofoil of NACA 0015 section were instrumented with custom-made pressure transducers using polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric polymer film. These transducers provided in situ measurement of impulse pressures. These measurements made possible the assessment of power associated with cavitation erosion intensities. A practical application of this measurement technique was demonstrated in testing the viability of air injection as a means of mitigating cavitation erosion. The results from the impulse pressure measurements were compared with those obtained from hydrophone and accelerometer measurements. All the three measurement techniques showed similar results. The high sensitivity, minimal thickness, high frequency response, high spatial resolution and low cost of the piezoelectric transducers point to their applicability to wide range of dynamic pressure field measurements.

Subject Headings: Cavitation | Dynamic pressure | Pressure measurement | Piezoelectricity | Vibration | Synthetic materials | Transient response

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