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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 215678, 17 pages
Research Article

Numerical Modeling of Unsteady Cavitating Flows around a Stationary Hydrofoil

1Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, University of Michigan, 2600 Draper Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2Department of Vehicle Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China

Received 14 February 2012; Accepted 20 June 2012

Academic Editor: Moustafa Abdel-Maksoud

Copyright © 2012 Antoine Ducoin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this paper is to evaluate the predictive capability of three popular transport equation-based cavitation models for the simulations of partial sheet cavitation and unsteady sheet/cloud cavitating flows around a stationary NACA66 hydrofoil. The 2D calculations are performed by solving the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equation using the CFD solver CFX with the k-ω SST turbulence model. The local compressibility effect is considered using a local density correction for the turbulent eddy viscosity. The calculations are validated with experiments conducted in a cavitation tunnel at the French Naval Academy. The hydrofoil has a fixed angle of attack of α=6° with a Reynolds number of Re = 750,000 at different cavitation numbers σ. Without the density modification, over-prediction of the turbulent viscosity near the cavity closure reduces the cavity length and modifies the cavity shedding characteristics. The results show that it is important to capture both the mean and fluctuating values of the hydrodynamic coefficients because (1) the high amplitude of the fluctuations is critical to capturing the extremes of the loads to ensure structural safety and (2) the need to capture the frequency of the fluctuations, to avoid unwanted noise, vibrations, and accelerated fatigue issues.