This study presents a computational investigation of the interactions of a single shock wave with multiple gas-filled bubbles in a liquid medium. This work illustrates how multiple bubbles may be used in shock-bubble interactions to intensify the process on a local level. A high resolution front-tracking approach is used, which enables explicit tracking of the gas-liquid interface. The collapse of two identical bubbles, one placed behind the other is investigated in detail, demonstrating that peak pressures in a two bubble arrangement can exceed those seen in single bubble collapse. Additionally, a parametric investigation into the effect of bubble separation is presented. It is found that the separation distance has a significant effect on both the shape and velocity of the main transverse jet of the second bubble. Extending this analysis to effects of relative bubble size, we show that if the first bubble is sufficiently small relative to the second, it may become entirely entrained in the second bubble main transverse jet. In contrast, if the first bubble is substantially larger than the second, it may offer it significant protection from the incident shock. This protection is utilised in the study of a triangular array of three bubbles, with the central bubble being significantly smaller than the outer bubbles. It is demonstrated that, through shielding of bubbles until later in the collapse process, pressures over five times higher than the maximum pressure observed in the single bubble case may be achieved. This corresponds to a peak pressure that is approximately 40 times more intense than the incident shock wave. This work has applications in a number of different fields, including cavitation erosion, explosives, targeted drug delivery/intensification, and shock wave lithotripsy.
Based on a liquid density of 968 kg/m3, jet width of 120 μm, liquid velocity of 2090 ms−1, gas velocity of 1570 ms−1, dynamic viscosity of 1.002 × 10−3 kg/s m and surface tension 72.75 × 10−3 N m−1. The gas density is 14 kg/m3.