WIAS Preprint No. 1424, (2009)

On phase change of a vapor bubble in liquid water


  • Dreyer, Wolfgang
  • Duderstadt, Frank
  • Hantke, Maren
  • Warnecke, Gerald

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 35Q53 35G25 76E15


  • Conservation laws, phase change, bubbles


We consider a bubble of vapor and inert gas surrounded by the corresponding liquid phase. We study the behavior of the bubble due to phase change, i.e. condensation and evaporation, at the interface. Special attention is given to the effects of surface tension and heat production on the bubble dynamics as well as the propagation of acoustic elastic waves by including slight compressibility of the liquid phase. Separately we study the influence of the three phenomena heat conduction, elastic waves, and phase transition on the evolution of the bubble. The objective is to derive relations including the mass, momentum, and energy transfer between the phases. We find ordinary differential equations, in the cases of heat transfer and the emission of acoustic waves partial differential equations, that describe the bubble dynamics. From numerical evidence we deduce that the effect of phase transition and heat transfer on the behavior of the radius of the bubble is negligible. It turns out that the elastic waves in the liquid are of greatest importance to the dynamics of the bubble radius. The phase transition has a strong influence on the evolution of the temperature, in particular at the interface. Furthermore the phase transition leads to a drastic change of the water content in the bubble, so that a rebounding bubble is only possible, if it contains in addition an inert gas. In a forthcoming paper the equations derived are sought in order to close equations for multi-phase mixture balance laws for dispersed bubbles in liquids involving phase change. Also the model is used to make comparisons with experimental data on the oscillation of a laser induced bubble. For this case it was necessary to include the effect of an inert gas in the thermodynamic modeling of the phase transition.

Appeared in

  • Contin. Mech. Thermodyn., 24 (2012) pp. 461--483.

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