Transient pressure investigation of water-hydraulic pipelines is a challenge in the fluid transmission field, since the flow continuity equation and momentum equation are partial differential, and the vaporous cavitation has high dynamics; the frictional force caused by fluid viscosity is especially uncertain. In this study, due to the different transient pressure dynamics in upstream and downstream pipelines, the finite difference method (FDM) is adopted to handle pressure transients with and without cavitation, as well as steady friction and frequency-dependent unsteady friction. Different from the traditional method of characteristics (MOC), the FDM is advantageous in terms of the simple and convenient computation. Furthermore, the mechanism of cavitation growth and collapse are captured both upstream and downstream of the water-hydraulic pipeline, i.e., the cavitation start time, the end time, the duration, the maximum volume, and the corresponding time points. By referring to the experimental results of two previous works, the comparative simulation results of two computation methods are verified in experimental water-hydraulic pipelines, which indicates that the finite difference method shows better data consistency than the MOC.
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