||Previous investigations showed that a single cavitation bubble collapse can cause more than one erosion pit (Philipp & Lauterborn ). But our preliminary study showed just the opposite – that in some cases a single cavitation pit can result from more than one cavitation event. The present study shows deeper investigation of this phenomenon. An investigation of the erosion effects of ultrasonic cavitation on a thin aluminum foil was made. In the study we observed the formation of individual pits by means of high speed cameras (>1000 fps) and quantitatively evaluated the series of images by stereoscopy and the shape from shading method. This enabled the reconstruction of the time evolution of the pit shape. Results show how the foil is deformed several times before a hole is finally punctured. It was determined that larger single pits result from several impacts of shock waves on the same area, which means that they are merely special cases of pit clusters (pit clusters where pits overlap perfectly). Finally it was shown that a thin foil, which is subjected to cavitation, behaves as a membrane. It was concluded that the physics behind erosion depends significantly on the means of generating cavitation (acoustic, hydrodynamic, laser light) and the specimen characteristics (thin foil, massive specimen), which makes comparison of results of materials resistance to cavitation from different experimental set-ups questionable.
Further development of the shape from shading method in the scope of cavitation erosion testing will enable better evaluation of cavitation erosion models.