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.

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 July 23, 2014 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) 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:
from the past week

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