This paper presents a numerical simulation of the geometry and the pressure distribution of a ventilated supercavity at different cavitator amplitudes and periods of motion. The numerical method is validated by comparing with the results of a semi-empirical formula under specific conditions.
It is shown that the simulation can capture the boundary fluctuations of the ventilated supercavity and its internal pressure variations in a cavitator motion cycle. The simulation results show that the supercavity boundary experiences wave-like deformations when the wavelength of the disturbance caused by the cavitator motion is comparable to the supercavity length.
It is also shown that the supercavity closure changes in form between a re-entrant jet and a twin vortex owing to the variations of the pressure difference between the outside and the inside of the supercavity near the closure region. The maximum diameter of the ventilated supercavity exhibits periodic changes with a double peak in each cavitator motion cycle, caused by the corresponding changes of the difference between the internal and external pressures.
With the increase of the amplitude of motion of the cavitator, the supercavity boundary has enhanced wave-like undulations, with an increased maximum diameter, and with fluctuations in the cavitation number. As the period of the cavitator motion increases, the wavelength of the disturbances caused by this motion becomes greater than the supercavity length, and so the wave-like undulations of the supercavity boundary and the maximum diameter of the supercavity gradually decrease, but the variations of the cavitation number increase.
Moreover, with the increase of the periods, the delay effects on the variations of the characteristics of the supercavity geometry caused by cavitator motion gradually decrease, and they practically vanish for large periods.