Mitigating cavitation erosion using biomimetic gas-entrapping microtextured surfaces (GEMS)
AuthorsGonzalez-Avila, Silvestre Roberto
Nguyen, Dang Minh
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Online Publication Date2020-03-27
Print Publication Date2020-03
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/662357
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AbstractCavitation refers to the formation and collapse of vapor bubbles near solid boundaries in high-speed flows, such as ship propellers and pumps. During this process, cavitation bubbles focus fluid energy on the solid surface by forming high-speed jets, leading to damage and downtime of machinery. In response, numerous surface treatments to counteract this effect have been explored, including perfluorinated coatings and surface hardening, but they all succumb to cavitation erosion eventually. Here, we report on biomimetic gas-entrapping microtextured surfaces (GEMS) that robustly entrap air when immersed in water regardless of the wetting nature of the substrate. Crucially, the entrapment of air inside the cavities repels cavitation bubbles away from the surface, thereby preventing cavitation damage. We provide mechanistic insights by treating the system as a potential flow problem of a multi-bubble system. Our findings present a possible avenue for mitigating cavitation erosion through the application of inexpensive and environmentally friendly materials.
CitationGonzalez-Avila, S. R., Nguyen, D. M., Arunachalam, S., Domingues, E. M., Mishra, H., & Ohl, C.-D. (2020). Mitigating cavitation erosion using biomimetic gas-entrapping microtextured surfaces (GEMS). Science Advances, 6(13), eaax6192. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aax6192
SponsorsWe thank X. Pita, scientific illustrator at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), for preparing Fig. 2 and V. Unkefer (KAUST) for assistance in editing of the manuscript. H.M. and S.A. thank G. Mahadik (KAUST) for providing specimens of sea skaters (H. germanus) and W. S. Hwang (National University of Singapore) and L. Cheng (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA) for providing specimens of springtails.
The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from KAUST under award number BAS/1/1070-01-01.