Computing Thermal Effects of Cavitation in Cryogenic Liquids
Marshall Space Flight Center
A computer program implements a numerical model of thermal effects of cavitation in cryogenic fluids. The model and program were developed for use in designing and predicting the performances of turbopumps for cryogenic fluids. Prior numerical models used for this purpose do not account for either the variability of properties of cryogenic fluids or the thermal effects (especially, evaporative cooling) involved in cavitation. It is important to account for both because in a cryogenic fluid, the thermal effects of cavitation are substantial, and the cavitation characteristics are altered by coupling between the variable fluid properties and the phase changes involved in cavitation. The present model accounts for both thermal effects and variability of properties by incorporating a generalized representation of the properties of cryogenic fluids into a generalized compressible-fluid formulation for a cavitating pump. The model has been extensively validated for liquid nitrogen and liquid hydrogen. Using the available data on the properties of these fluids, the model has been shown to predict accurate temperature- depression values.
NASA Tech Briefs Magazine
This article first appeared in the November, 2005 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.