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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2012, Article ID 618180, 11 pages
Research Article

Numerical Predictions of Cavitating Flow around Model Scale Propellers by CFD and Advanced Model Calibration

Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Architettura, Università degli Studi Trieste, P.le Europa 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy

Received 3 February 2012; Accepted 5 June 2012

Academic Editor: Jules W. Lindau

Copyright © 2012 Mitja Morgut and Enrico Nobile. 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 numerical predictions of the cavitating flow around two model scale propellers in uniform inflow are presented and discussed. The simulations are carried out using a commercial CFD solver. The homogeneous model is used and the influence of three widespread mass transfer models, on the accuracy of the numerical predictions, is evaluated. The mass transfer models in question share the common feature of employing empirical coefficients to adjust mass transfer rate from water to vapour and back, which can affect the stability and accuracy of the predictions. Thus, for a fair and congruent comparison, the empirical coefficients of the different mass transfer models are first properly calibrated using an optimization strategy. The numerical results obtained, with the three different calibrated mass transfer models, are very similar to each other for two selected model scale propellers. Nevertheless, a tendency to overestimate the cavity extension is observed, and consequently the thrust, in the most severe operational conditions, is not properly predicted.