The dynamics of vapor bubbles in acoustic pressure fields



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The Physics of Fluids


In spite of a superficial similarity with gas bubbles, the intimate coupling between dynamical and thermal processes confers to oscillating vapor bubbles some unique characteristics. This paper examines numerically the validity of some asymptotic-theory predictions such as the existence of two resonant radii and a limit size for a given sound amplitude and frequency. It is found that a small vapor bubble in a sound field of sufficient amplitude grows quickly through resonance and continues to grow thereafter at a very slow rate, seemingly indefinitely. Resonance phenomena therefore play a role for a few cycles at most, and reaching a limit size—if one exists at all—is found to require far more than several tens of thousands of cycles. It is also found that some small bubbles may grow or collapse depending on the phase of the sound field. The model accounts in detail for the thermo-fluid-mechanic processes in the vapor. In the second part of the paper, an approximate formulation valid for bubbles small with respect to the thermal penetration length in the vapor is derived and its accuracy examined. The present findings have implications for acoustically enhanced boiling heat transfer and other special applications such as boiling in microgravity.



Acoustical properties, Microgravity, Resonance phenomena, Fluid mechanics, Thermodynamic states and processes


Copyright 1999 Physics of Fluids. Recommended citation: Hao, Y., and Andrea Prosperetti. "The dynamics of vapor bubbles in acoustic pressure fields." Physics of fluids 11, no. 8 (1999): 2008-2019. DOI: 10.1063/1.870064 URL: Reproduced in accordance with the original publisher’s licensing terms and with permission from the author(s).