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Cavitation bubbles structures below a soft boundary in an ultrasonic field

Authors: Fan Li, Chenyang, Xianmei Zhang, Chenghui Wang
Publisher: Science Direct
We studied the layer structure of bubbles just below water/air and water/EPE (Expand aple poly ephylene) interfaces using high-speed photography. The layer structure was generated by floating spherical clusters, the source bubbles of which were identified to come from the attachment of bubble nuclei at the interface, the floating of bubbles in the bulk liquid, or bubbles generated on the surface of the ultrasonic transducer. The boundary shape affected the layer structure, which assumed a similar profile below the water/EPE interface. We developed a simplified model composed of a bubble column and bubble chain to describe interface impacts and the interaction of bubbles in a typical branching structure. We found that the resonant frequency of the bubbles is smaller than that of an isolated single bubble. Moreover, the primary acoustic field plays an important role in the generation of the structure. A higher acoustic frequency and pressure were found to shorten the distance between the structure and the interface. A hat-like layer structure of bubbles was more likely to exist in the low-frequency (28 and 40 kHz) intense inertial cavitation field, in which bubbles oscillate violently. By contrast, structures composed of discrete spherical clusters were more likely to form in the relatively weak cavitation field at 80 kHz, in which stable and inertial cavitation coexisted. The theoretical predictions were in good agreement with the experimental observations.
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