An axisymmetric, quasi-steady-state model for the flow of molten metal in a thin layer surrounding the lower region of a vapor-filled cavity formed during a high-energy beam penetrating process is investigated for the first time. The shape of the vapor–liquid interface is determined by solving the momentum and energy equations and satisfying global mass conservation. Results show that the effective surface pressure and the force caused by the surface tension induce the upward flow of the liquid layer, which is responsible for the formation of the cavity. Distributions of the cavity temperatures, the liquid layer thickness, and the tangential velocity are also presented in this initial study.

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