The Proton Power Upgrade (PPU) project will increase the proton beam power at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), requiring new cavitation erosion mitigation techniques for the mercury target vessel. More precisely, a gas wall layer will be injected on the wall surface where heavy cavitation erosion is observed. In this paper, a series of experiments were performed to develop a gas layer on a simplified target geometry. First, experiments in water were used to test a prototype injection strategy in a simplified target nose geometry. Then the experiment was repeated at the Target Test Facility (TTF) at ORNL where mercury wass flowed in the same geometry. Observations showed that gas injection into liquid metal was much more sensitive to flow velocity than in water. Ultimately, the experiments showed the gas injection must be located very close to the area of interest in a non-intrusive configuration to reduce shear stresses in the flow for good gas coverage. This technique will be next implemented in a more prototypical target.