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Research project: Cavitation in Oil

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Food oil is a complex media with many applications and uses. The crystallisation produces materials which are subsequently used to produce other substances.

We have, in collaboration with colleague at the Utah State University, produced a series of papers investigating the generation of cavitation clusters in oils and how these affect the crystallisation of oils.

Images of the cluster that can form on the tip of a high

intensity sound source.  The two images, taken with a

high-speed camera’ show different stages of the clusters


The studies have shown that the cluster forms on eroded tip surfaces1, grows and collapses with periods associated2 with the sound source deployed, produces at least two pressure shocks per collapse2, can exist in an unusual ‘bifurcated streamer’ structure3, generates a hot stream of liquid1, alters the material characteristics of the solid fat4 and can be studies using a novel optical approach.

1 P. R. Birkin, T. M. Foley, T. T. Truscott, A. Merritt and S. Martini, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 6785–6791.

2 P. R. Birkin, H. L. Martin, J. J. Youngs, T. T. Truscott, A. S. Merritt, E. J. Elison and S. Martini, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc., 2019, 96, 1197–1204.

3 P. R. Birkin, J. J. Youngs, T. T. Truscott and S. Martini, Ultrason. Sonochem., 2020, 67, 105168.

4 J. J. Youngs, P. R. Birkin, J. Lee, T. T. Truscott and S. Martini, Analyst, 2021, 146, 4883–4894.


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