I completed my studies in chemical and process engineering at KIT from 2012 to 2019. During my bachelor's degree, I focused on food process engineering and thus had my first contact with the institute. My bachelor thesis was in the field of the formulation of melt emulsions by high-pressure homogenization. In the Master's program, I specialized in mechanical process engineering and gas-particle systems. I was able to extend my studies by a stay abroad at the NTNU in Trondheim. After finishing my master thesis on cavitation in the process of simultaneous emulsification and mixing, I have been working as a research assistant at the Research Group Emulsification Technologies since November 2019.
High-pressure homogenization is state of the art to produce emulsions with small droplet sizes. During the process different stresses occur. In addition to strain, shear and turbulence, cavitation can also occur due to the high acceleration of the fluid. The influence of cavitation on the local flow parameters could not be fully investigated so far. Therefore, I am currently working on the influence of cavitation on the flow in the high-pressure homogenization process. By investigating stress profiles along the streamlines, conclusions on the differences of the flow parameters in cavitating and non cavitating flow are to be drawn.
Both experimental and numerical methods are used. Orifices are used for experimental investigations of the process. The process is operated with a two-piston pump. For the visualization of the cavitation an optically accessible downstream is used. With the help of a high-speed camera, so-called shadow images are recorded in this area and evaluated by means of image processing in Matlab. Since the flow cannot be observed experimentally in the entire process, it is modelled by a CFD simulation in Ansys Fluent. Experimentally determined data such as mass flow, outlet pressure and temperatures are used as boundary conditions. The validation of the simulation is done by means of the inlet pressure.