CNR-INM | Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche | Istituto di Ingegneria del Mare
+39 06 50299 222

CEIMM cavitation tunnel

Scope and purpose

At the Hydrodynamic Experimental Facility of the Italian Navy (C.E.I.M.M.), a cavitation tunnel, Cussons Technology, model K15, is operated and managed by CNR-INM. This kind of facility, is adaptable for various purposes, mainly devoted to propeller, rudder and appendage tests, in cavitating and non-cavitating conditions. Global performance, in terms of forces and moments exerted, and local quantities, as velocity, pressure and noise, are measured with a high level of accuracy. Through the Perpex windows placed in the test section, high quality, flow visualizations allow an impressive insight into the physics of the phenomena. Propellers can be investigated in uniform, non-uniform flow with straight and inclined axis. Counter-rotating propellers (CRP) are investigated as well. Cavitation and erosion tests can be performed, reducing the facility pressure to suitable values. The maximum velocity is 12 m/s and the pressure value is adjustable from 1.5 to 0.15 Atm.

The facility is equipped with high accuracy and precision measuring systems, ranging from the standard dynamometers used to collect global information to high-level, non intrusive velocity measuring systems based on laser technology (Laser Doppler Velocimetry, Particle Image Velocimetry). A partial list of the measuring systems is reported:
– Main dynamometer, J15, Kempfs&Remmers
– Auxiliary dynamometer, H40, Kempfs&Remmers
– 3-components and 5-components balance, Kempfs&Remmers
– Velocity measuring systems, LDV, PIV,Stereo-PIV and 3D-PIV.

Main characteristics

Test section characteristics and dimensionssquare, rounded edges, 600 x 600 x 2600 mm3 (H x W x L)
Contraction ratio 5.96 : 1
Maximum speed 12 m/s
Pressure range1.5 – 0.15 atm
Total dimensions – length13.9 m
Total dimensions – height 9.3 m

Sketch of the CEIMM cavitation tunnel
Cavitation at the blade tips and hub in a frigate propeller
Pervasive cavitation in an outboard propeller

Contact information

Scientific point of contact Giovanni Aloisio
+39 06 50299 252
Technical point of contact Luca Spurio
+39 06 50299 700


Rome HQVia di Vallerano 139, 00128, Rome, Italy