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Hydrodynamic parameters of air-bubble stimulated underwater spark discharges

Sun, Y. and Timoshkin, I. V. and Given, M. J. and Wilson, M. P. and Wang, T. and MacGregor, S. J. and Nelly, Bonifaci and Bonifaci, N. (2017) Hydrodynamic parameters of air-bubble stimulated underwater spark discharges. In: 2017 IEEE 19th International Conference on Dielectric Liquids (ICDL). IEEE, Piscataway, N.J.. ISBN 978-1-5090-4878-6

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Considerable amount of research work has been focused on investigation and optimization of strong acoustic waves generated by spark discharges in water. There are several methods to achieve and to stimulate underwater spark breakdowns, including free-discharges, wire-guided and gas-bubble stimulated discharges. In the present work, air bubbles are injected into water in order to achieve spark discharges in relatively long inter-electrode gaps. This paper reports on hydrodynamic and acoustic characteristics of spark discharges stimulated by air bubbles and presents the functional relationships between the hydrodynamic and electrical parameters of such discharges, including breakdown voltage, spark plasma resistance and energy available in the discharge. A hydrodynamic analytical model has been developed and used to calculate the acoustic efficiency of the underwater spark discharges.