An experimental and numerical study of water jet cleaning process

Anirban Guha (Lead / Corresponding author), Ronald M. Barron, Ram Balachandar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we have experimentally, numerically and theoretically investigated the water jet cleaning process. Very high speed water jets (∼80-200 m/s) are typically used in such cleaning operations. These jets diffuse in the surrounding atmosphere by the process of air entrainment and this contributes to the spreading of the jet and subsequent decay of pressure. Estimation of this pressure decay and subsequent placement of the cleaning object is of paramount importance in manufacturing and material processing industries. Also, the pressure distribution on the cleaning surface needs to be assessed in order to understand and optimize the material removal process. In an industrial setting, an experimental study is performed to formulate the pressure characteristics. It has been shown that the decay of stagnation pressure along the axial direction is linear. It also revealed that no cleaning is possible at radial locations greater than 1.68D from the centerline. Numerical simulations are performed to capture the process of air entrainment in the jet and the subsequent pressure characteristics. The simulation results are found to correctly predict the experimental data. Moreover, a theoretical model for evaluating the optimal and critical stand-off distances has also been derived. Our results indicate that the optimal stand-off distance in cleaning operations is ∼5D and the jet looses its cleaning ability at axial distances greater than ∼26D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-618
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Processing Technology
Issue number4
Early online date8 Dec 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • CFD
  • Jet cleaning
  • Multiphase flow
  • Numerical modeling
  • Water jet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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