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Cavitation erosion in polymer aqueous solutions

Brujan, E A; Al-Hussany, A F H; Williams, R L; Williams, P R


E A Brujan

A F H Al-Hussany

R L Williams

P R Williams


We report the results of experiments designed to test the hypothesis that the enhanced levels of extensional viscosity conferred upon a liquid due to a polymer additive substantially mitigate cavitation damage, in addition to substantially increasing the liquid's cavitation threshold stress. As far as we are aware, these issues have never been directly addressed in a single investigation, involving samples of the same polymer system, in complementary experiments expressly designed for these purposes. The cavitation thresholds of aqueous PAA solutions are measured under dynamic stressing by pulses of tension and cavitation erosion experiments involving solid target specimens are also reported. The cavitation threshold of the solutions is found to be substantially enhanced by the presence of the polymer and the damage patterns recorded by scanning electron microscopy after 80 min exposure to cavitation in polymer solutions differ significantly from those in water. Whereas in water the surface presents heavily eroded areas with deep pitting cavities, in the 1% PAA solution the damage appears only in the form of individual craters that accumulate along specific lines and large undamaged areas (a stringy damage pattern). The weight loss decreases with increasing the polymer concentration and is one order of magnitude smaller in the 1% PAA solution than in the case of water. The present results suggest that the reduction of the maximum pressure inside the bubble at its minimum volume upon addition of polymer is the dominant mechanism of the observed suppression of cavitation damage in polymer solutions. The implications of the results are discussed with respect to the reduction of collateral damage in ultrasound phacoemulsification.


Brujan, E. A., Al-Hussany, A. F. H., Williams, R. L., & Williams, P. R. (2008). Cavitation erosion in polymer aqueous solutions. Wear, 264(11-12), 1035-1042.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 16, 2007
Online Publication Date Sep 24, 2007
Publication Date May 10, 2008
Deposit Date Aug 1, 2016
Journal Wear
Print ISSN 0043-1648
Electronic ISSN 0043-1648
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 264
Issue 11-12
Pages 1035-1042
Keywords Cavitation erosion, cavitation threshold, polymer solutions, scanning electron microscopy,
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