Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Getting bubbles out of fuel pumps

Date:
November 22, 2010
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
When vapor bubbles form and collapse in fluids moving swiftly over steel objects such as those inside fuel pumps, they can damage them. Now researchers detail the results of the first detailed experiments aimed at preventing cavitation damage in jet fuel pumps, which are essential components in modern aircraft.

For more than 250 years, researchers have known that under certain conditions vapor bubbles can form in fluids moving swiftly over a surface. These bubbles soon collapse with such great force that they can poke holes in steel and damage objects such as ship propellers, turbine blades, nozzles and pump impellers.

Related Articles


Scientists have conducted extensive research for decades to try to understand this phenomenon -- called cavitation. But most experiments to date have been related to open-water objects like ship propellers.

Now a group led by Notre Dame professors Patrick Dunn and Flint Thomas has published the first detailed results of experiments aimed at preventing cavitation damage in jet fuel pumps, which are essential components in modern aircraft. Appearing in journal Physics of Fluids, which is published by the American Institute of Physics, the results showed great differences in cavitation behavior between water and JP-8 jet fuel, which is a complex mixture of more than 228 hydrocarbons and additives, each with its own fluid properties.

While it can be used to clean jewelry and disintegrate kidney stones, cavitation is usually considered to be highly detrimental and to be avoided. It was first described scientifically by Leonhard Euler in 1754, but the phenomenon made its initial impression with engineers in 1893 when it caused the failure of a propeller on the world's fastest ship at the time, Great Britain's HMS Daring. In modern times, degraded performance is the typical consequence, as maintenance crews usually discover and replace damaged components before they fail.

"Improved jet-fuel pumps are needed particularly for military aircraft being designed to fly at higher altitudes and in other demanding environments," Dunn said. "But manufacturers still rely heavily upon trial-and-error in design. If they were confident that a computer-designed pump would work as predicted, new pumps could be lighter, more efficient and have longer lifetimes."

The Notre Dame research provides jet-fuel pump designers with the first realistic data that they can use in their computer models to make better predictions of vulnerable locations in their pumps and systems where cavitation bubbles may be created and collapse.

It's much more difficult to model cavitation in pumps than in open water, Dunn added, because the fluid typically has a turbulent journey with accelerated flows though small channels, orifices, and spinning discs. With so many constituents, jet fuel is also a computer modeler's nightmare. Its properties can even change with storage conditions and is often contaminated with microparticles that can promote cavitation.

This research was funded by Honeywell Corp.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Patrick F. Dunn, Flint O. Thomas, Michael P. Davis, Irina E. Dorofeeva. Experimental characterization of aviation-fuel cavitation. Physics of Fluids, 2010; 22 (11): 117102 DOI: 10.1063/1.3490051

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Getting bubbles out of fuel pumps." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116093532.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2010, November 22). Getting bubbles out of fuel pumps. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116093532.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Getting bubbles out of fuel pumps." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116093532.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 22, 2015) Classic children&apos;s toy Meccano has gone digital, releasing a programmable kit robot that can be controlled by voice recognition. The toymakers say Meccanoid G15 KS is easy to use and is compatible with existing Meccano pieces. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

Rumble (Jan. 22, 2015) The VueXL from VX1 is a product that you install your smartphone in and with the magic of magnification lenses, enlarges your smartphones screen so that it&apos;s like looking at a big screen TV. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Analysis: NTSB Wants Better Black Boxes

Analysis: NTSB Wants Better Black Boxes

AP (Jan. 22, 2015) NTSB investigators recommended Thursday that long-distance passenger planes carry improved technology to allow them to be found more easily in a crash, as well as include enhanced cockpit recording technology. (Jan. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins