Phenomena

Inside a Blender

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The fluid dynamics of a commercial-quality blender amount to a lot more than just stirring. Here high-speed video shows how the blender’s moving blades create a suction effect that pulls contents down through the middle of the blender, then flings them outward. This motion creates large shear stresses, which help break up the food, as well as turbulence that can mix it. But if you watch carefully, you’ll also see tiny bubbles spinning off the blades. These bubbles, formed by the pressure drop of fluid accelerated over the arms of the blades, are cavitation bubbles. When they collapse, or implode, they create localized shock waves that further break up the blender’s contents. This same effect is responsible for damage to boat propellers and lets you destroy glass bottles. (Video credit: ChefSteps; via Wired; submitted by jshoer)

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