FEM simulation of a sono-reactor accounting for vibrations of the boundaries

O. Louisnard, J. Gonzalez-Garcia, I. Tudela, J. Klima, V. Saez, Y. Vargas-Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chemical effects of acoustic cavitation are obtained in sono-reactors built-up from a vessel and an ultrasonic source. In this paper, simulations of an existing sono-reactor are carried out, using a linear acoustics model, accounting for the vibrations of the solid walls. The available frequency range of the generator (19-21 kHz) is systematically scanned. Global quantities are plotted as a function of frequency in order to obtain response curves, exhibiting several resonance peaks. In absence of the precise knowledge of the bubbles size distribution and spatial location, the attenuation coefficient of the wave is taken as a variable, but spatially uniform parameter, and its influence is studied. The concepts of acoustic energy, intensity, active power, and source impedance are recalled, along with the general balance equation for acoustic energy, which is used as a convergence check of the simulations. It is shown that the interface between the liquid and the solid walls cannot be correctly represented by the simple approximations of either infinitely soft, or infinitely hard boundaries. Moreover, the liquid-solid coupling allows the cooling jacket to receive a noticeable part of the input power, although it is not in direct contact with the sonotrode. It may therefore undergo cavitation and this feature opens the perspective to design sono-reactors which avoid direct contact between the working liquid and the sonotrode. Besides, the possibility to shift the main pressure antinode far from the sonotrode area by exciting a resonance of the system is examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-259
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic cavitation
  • Finite elements
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Standing waves
  • Ultrasound

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