Direct-contact condensation of vapor bubbles injected into a subcooled liquid is enhanced using ultrasonic O(1 MHz) acoustic actuation. In the absence of actuation, the surface tension-driven pinch-off process of the vapor bubble from the injection orifice induces a liquid spear that travels upward through the bubble and ruptures the top interface to form a toroidal bubble. Similarly, the acoustic actuator produces a narrow high-intensity acoustic beam that deforms the top interface of the vapor bubble via radiation pressure to form a liquid spear that travels downward though the bubble and ruptures the bottom interface to form a toroidal bubble. Comparisons between the growth and collapse of vapor bubbles in these two cases were performed using high-speed video imaging and particle image velocimetry. The results show that the actuated bubble collapsed about 35% faster than the unactuated bubble. The flow fields around the bubbles induced by the motion of the liquid spears are similar in both cases. By comparing vapor bubbles under different subcooling conditions with an unactuated, noncondensing air bubble, it was shown that condensation at the liquid–vapor interface strongly influences bubble collapse times and the velocity field surrounding each of the bubbles and that these effects increase as the level of subcooling increases.

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