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Cavitation Tunnel

The cavitation tunnel is used to investigate the hydrodynamic performance of different type of ship hulls, propulsors and other hydrodynamic objects. Propeller induced pressure fluctuations and noise as well as cavitation are investigated by means of measurements and high speed video observation. Propeller shaft and single propeller blade forces and moments can be measured using advanced in-house developed miniaturized instrumentation, in addition to standard thrust and torque measurements. The flow around two- and three-dimensional bodies can be studied by means of stereo particle image velocimetry (S-PIV), while deformations of hydro elastic structures are measured with stereo digital image correlation (S-DIC).

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Cavitation tunnel data:

  • Length of test section: L = 6m.
  • Cross section dimensions: W 1.3m x H 1.2m.
  • Maximum water velocity: 10 m/sec.
  • Maximum working pressure: 2.5 atm.abs.
  • Minimum working pressure: 0.2 atm.abs./sv~0.2.
  • Impeller motor power: 1150 kW.
  • Open water dynamometer, thrust = +- 1000 N, torque = +- 55 Nm. 
  • Boat dynamometer thrust = +- 1000 N, torque = +- 50Nm


Test activities:


  • Open water tests with propeller (and duct) in axial or oblique flow.
  • Behind hull condition with single, twin or triple screw installations.
  • Azimuth thrusters.
  • Z-drive installations.
  • Underwater vehicles (submarines, ROV's etc.).
  • Hydrofoils with or without remotely controlled flaps.

Measurements and observations:

  • Cavitation observation (Documentation by sketches, photos and video recordings).
  • Cavitation erosion detection by paint technique.
  • Measurements of propeller induced pressure fluctuations in the aftbody.
  • Measurements of propeller induced noise.
  • Six-component force measurements.
  • Stereo piv and dic

SINTEF's standard procedure for propeller cavitation testing in behind condition, is to use aftbody model and simulation of estimated full scale wake distribution, based on the measured wake distribution in the towing tank.


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Contact information

Contact information:

Luca Savio