Mitigation of hub vortex cavitation with application of roughness

Sezen, Savas and Atlar, Mehmet (2022) Mitigation of hub vortex cavitation with application of roughness. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 10 (10). 1426. ISSN 2077-1312 (

[thumbnail of Sezen-Atlar-JMSE-2022-Mitigation-of-hub-vortex-cavitation-with-application]
Text. Filename: Sezen_Atlar_JMSE_2022_Mitigation_of_hub_vortex_cavitation_with_application.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (1MB)| Preview


This study investigates the influence of roughness on hydrodynamic performance, especially for the hub vortex—and, hence, hub vortex cavitation—of a benchmark propeller operating under uniform flow conditions using the RANS method. The Schnerr–Sauer cavitation model is also used for modelling the cavitation on and off the propeller blades. In order to include the effects of roughness in the numerical calculations, the experimentally obtained roughness functions were incorporated with the wall function of the CFD solver. The applicability and effectiveness of the roughness application applied on the propeller hub as a novel concept were explored to mitigate hub vortex cavitation. The results are first validated with experimental data on smooth conditions through the propeller hydrodynamic performance characteristics and cavitation extension. Then, the propeller hub is covered with four different sizes of roughness. The results show that the degradation effects of roughness applied to the hub on propeller performance are negligible, and the maximum efficiency loss is around 0.25% with respect to the smooth condition when the propeller hub was roughened. Favourable impacts of roughness are found for the hub vortex, and hence, hub vortex mitigation. Applying the roughness on the propeller changed the flow properties (e.g., pressure, velocity and turbulent kinetic energy) inside the vortex, enabling the early breakdown of the extension of hub vortices. These flow changes in the presence of roughness result in a mitigation of hub vortex cavitation up to 50% depending on the roughness size with respect to the smooth condition. Thus, this proposed novel concept, application of roughness to the propeller hub, can be used to mitigate hub vortex cavitation, rudder erosion and propeller URN for both newly designed and retrofitted projects by keeping the efficiency loss as minimum as possible.