Mapping the cavitation intensity in an ultrasonic bath using the acoustic emission

Authors

  • Vijayanand S. Moholkar,

    Corresponding author
    1. Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University Dept. of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay, Bombay—400 019, India
    Current affiliation:
    1. Technology of Structured Materials (Textile Technology) Group, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
    • Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University Dept. of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay, Bombay—400 019, India
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  • Shishir P. Sable,

    1. Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University Dept. of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay, Bombay—400 019, India
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  • Aniruddha B. Pandit

    1. Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University Dept. of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay, Bombay—400 019, India
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Abstract

A new method for separate identification and determination of the spatial distribution of the two components of the energy intensity in an ultrasound bath (due to the ultrasound waves and cavitation activity) uses two media—cavitating (water) and noncavitating (silicon oil)—under the conditions of the acoustic field in the ultrasound bath. The variation of cavitation intensity in the frequency domain was obtained by subtracting the acoustic emission spectrum of silicon oil from that of water. Measurements at various locations in the bath revealed significant spatial variations in the cavitation intensity in the bath. The local cavitation phenomena in the bath (stable or transient cavitation) were explained based on the spectral characteristics of acoustic emission. The radial dynamics of the bubbles at the location of cavitation intensity measurements was determined using the Gilmore model of bubble dynamics. The bubbles in the region of highest cavitation intensity underwent a transient motion, while the bubbles in the region of lowest cavitation intensity underwent stable/oscillatory motion. The transient collapse of the bubbles that gives rise to local temperature and pressure maxima is at the root of the observed effects of ultrasound on chemical systems. The more violent the collapse of the bubbles, the higher the local cavitation intensity. It was verified using the spectral characteristics of the acoustic emission and simulation of the radial motion of the bubbles.

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