Enhancement of channel wall vibration due to acoustic excitation of an internal bubbly flow

M.M. Zhang, J. Katz, Andrea Prosperetti

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The effect of an internal turbulent bubbly flow on vibrations of a channel wall is investigated experimentally and theoretically. Our objective is to determine the spectrum and attenuation rate of sound propagating through a bubbly liquid flow in a channel, and connect these features with the vibrations of the channel wall and associated pressure fluctuations. Vibrations of an isolated channel wall and associated wall pressure fluctuations are measured using several accelerometers and pressure transducers at various gas void fractions and characteristic bubble diameters. A waveguide-theory-based model, consisting of a solution to the three-dimensional Helmholtz equation in an infinitely long channel with the effective physical properties of a bubbly liquid is developed to predict the spectral frequencies of the wall vibrations and pressure fluctuations, the corresponding attenuation coefficients and propagation phase speeds. Results show that the presence of bubbles substantially enhances the power spectral density of the channel wall vibrations and wall pressure fluctuations in the 250–1200 Hz range by up to 27 and 26 dB, respectively, and increases their overall rms values by up to 14.1 and 12.7 times, respectively. In the same frequency range, both vibrations and spectral frequencies increase substantially with increasing void fraction and slightly with increasing bubble diameter. Several weaker spectral peaks above that range are also observed. Trends of the frequency and attenuation coefficients of spectral peaks, as well as the phase velocities are well predicted by the model. This agreement confirms that the origin of enhanced vibrations and pressure fluctuations is the excitation of streamwise propagating pressure waves, which are created by the initial acoustic energy generated during bubble formation
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)994-1017
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of fluids and structures
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Internal bubblyflow
  • Waveguidetheory
  • Void fraction
  • METIS-273409
  • IR-79911
  • Channel wall vibration
  • Bubblediameter
  • Acousticnormalmode

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