Dynamic interaction of the cavitating propeller tip vortex with the rudder
The hydrodynamic interaction between the ship propeller and the rudder has many aspects. One of the most interesting is the interaction between the cavitating tip vortex shed from the propeller blades and the rudder. This interaction leads to strongly dynamic behaviour of the cavitating vortex, which in turn generates unusually high pressure pulses in its vicinity. Possibly accurate prediction of these pulses is one of the most important problems in the hydrodynamic design of a new ship. The paper presents a relatively simple computational model of the propeller cavitating tip vortex behaviour close to the rudder leading edge. The model is based on the traditional Rankine vortex and on the potential solution of the dynamics of the cylindrical sections of the cavitating kernel passing through the strongly variable pressure field in the vicinity of the rudder leading edge. The model reproduces numerically the experimentally observed process of initial compression of the vortex kernel in the high pressure region near the stagnation point at the rudder leading edge and subsequent explosive growth of the kernel in the low pressure region further downstream. Numerical simulation of this process enables computation of the additional pressure pulses generated due to this phenomenon and transmitted onto the hull surface. This new numerical model of the cavitating tip vortex is incorporated in the modified unsteady lifting surface program for prediction of propeller cavitation, which has been successfully used in the process of propeller design for several years and which recently has been extended to include the effects of propeller — rudder interaction. The results of calculations are compared with the experimental measurements and they demonstrate reasonable agreement between theory and physical reality.