Turbulent and cavitation induced pipe vibration is a large problem in industry often resulting in pipe failures. This thesis provides an experimental investigation on turbulent flow and cavitation induced pipe vibration caused by sharp edged baffle plates. Due to large pressure losses across a baffle plate, cavitation can result. Cavitation can be destructive to pipe flow in the form of induced pipe wall vibration and cavitation inception. Incipient and critical cavitation numbers are design points that are often used in designing baffle plate type geometries. This investigation presents how these design limits vary with the influencing parameters by exploring a range of different baffle plate geometries. The baffle plates explored contained varying hole sizes that ranged from 0.159 cm to 2.54 cm, with the total through area, or openness, of each baffle plate ranging between 11% and 60%. Plate thickness varied from 0.32–0.635 cm. Reynolds numbers ranged from 5 x 10^4 -85 x 104. The results show that the cavitation design limits are function of size scale effects and the loss coefficient only. The results also show that the loss coefficient for a baffle plate varies not only with total through area ratio, but also due with the plate thickness to baffle hole diameter ratio. Pipe wall vibrations were shown to decrease with increased through area ratio and increased thickness to diameter ratios. An investigation was also performed to characterize the attenuation of vibration in the streamwise direction of a baffle plate. It was show that the attenuation was largely effected by the presence of cavitation. Attenuation was shown to be a function of the geometry of the baffle plate. This work resulted in empirical models that can be used for predicting pipe vibration levels, the point of cavitation inception, and the streamwise distance where the attenuation of vibration levels caused by a baffle plate occurs.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Gavin Holt, flow, fluids, vibration, vibrations, cavitation, flow, induced, pipes, pipe, fluid structure, inception, attenuation, loss coefficient, baffle plate, multi-hole orifice, flow rate, pipe flow, turbulence, turbulent, discharge coefficient, size scaling