This research focuses on the effect of several convex and concave nose shapes on cavity formation for both hydrophilic and hydrophobic projectiles. It specifically investigates the effect of convex shape on the threshold velocity for cavity formation as well as the effect of concave shapes on cavity formation in terms of impact velocity, geometry of the concave shape and wettability of the projectile. For the convex cases, the streamlined axisymmetric shape significantly increases the threshold velocity when cavities form and is most pronounced for the ogive and cone. The study demonstrates that measuring the wetting angle and impact velocity is not enough to predict cavity behavior, rather the roughness and nose shape must also be taken into consideration for convex projectiles. For the concave cases, the cavities formed are highly influenced by impact speed and nose shape. Wetting angle did not have any visible effect on the cavity formed at higher impact speeds (7 m/s). The dynamics of the cavity formation are dominated by the pocket of trapped air formed when the concave projectiles impact the water. At low impact speeds (~0-1 m/s) the trapped air can separate the flow from the leading edge of the projectile nose when venting out and cause a large cavity to form, depending on the specific concave shape and speed. At moderate impact speeds (1-4 m/s) the trapped air will vent completely underwater forming a small ring-shaped cavity. At high impact speeds (4-10 m/s) the trapped pocket of air compresses tremendously and causes an unsteady pressure pulse, which can result in the formation of a bubble and jet in front of the cavity. The jet is formed by water passing behind the pocket of trapped air along the walls of the concave nose and converging into a jet at the top of the concave shape and entraining the trapped air as it descends.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





water entry, projectiles, underwater cavities, nose shapes, concave noses, wetting, roughness, jets