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Published July 1966 | public
Journal Article

Shockwaves from Cavity Collapse

Plesset, M. S.


The determination of the stresses produced by cavity collapse has been of interest since Rayleigh's discussion of the problem. One theoretical calculation relating to this problem is the magnitude of the pressure pulse which is radiated when a spherical bubble collapses and rebounds in a liquid. A calculation of this kind has been made although it was necessary to idealize the physical situation. The peak pressures predicted by this treatment were of the order of some thousands of atmospheres and could, therefore, furnish a mechanism for the damage of solid surfaces. Since these peak pressures decrease rapidly with distance from the centre of the bubble, the solid boundary must be in the immediate neighbourhood of the bubble in order that damage may be produced by this mechanism. In this situation spherical collapse or rebound cannot be expected to take place. An additional disturbance from spherical symmetry arises because the spherical shape is unstable. There is now both theoretical and experimental evidence that jet formation may develop from this unstability, and could under suitable conditions give rise to cavitation damage. This evidence is briefly discussed.

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© 1966 The Royal Society. Published 28 July 1966.

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