Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Stern, Frederick

Second Advisor

Yang, Jianming

First Committee Member

Carrica, Pablo

Second Committee Member

Lin, Ching-Long

Third Committee Member

Constantinescu, George


A sharp interface cavitation model has been developed for computational fluid dynamics. A phase change model based on a simplification of the Rayleigh-Plesset equation is combined with a second-order volume-of-fluid method with a constructed level set function in an incompressible fluid dynamics model.

The semi-implicit phase change model predicts the mass flux between liquid and vapor phases based on the difference between the local pressure at the interface and the vapor pressure at the ambient conditions. The mass flux between phases determines the volume source strength and jump velocities at the interface.

To prevent difficulties computing derivatives near the interface, two separate velocity fields from the momentum equation are solved considering the interface velocity jump. The interface velocity jump is extended into the liquid and vapor domains using a fast marching method.

A description of the mathematical and numerical models is included, as well as an explanation and derivation of the phase change model. Hypothetical vapor bubble problems are demonstrated to test the components of the model. Finally, cavity evolution on a hydrofoil is computed for a range of parameters.


Cavitation, Computational Fluid Dynamics


x, 64 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 61-64).


Copyright 2013 Thad Jefferson Michael