By Ian James
The term CAVITATION refers to the sudden collapse of vaporized liquid bubbles which are generated when the local pressure in areas of a pump drop low enough to cause the liquid to start to vaporize.
These vapor bubbles are driven by the flow of liquid to a higher pressure area. When the pressure surrounding these bubbles is high enough, they collapse and re-condense back into liquid form.
It is this sudden collapse that we call cavitation. You’ll know it when it happens because it generates intense shock waves and can cause damage to the metal surface the vapor bubbles are close to.
Not many people necessarily want to be experts on cavitation they just want to avoid it. But in many instances, it is simply unavoidable. The best thing is to understand the factors that lead to the calamity of cavitation damage so that this phenomenon will be avoided.
Avoidance of Cavitation is ALL important, as it causes erosion damage, and in some cases even corrosión damage within the pump. Needless to say, this leads to vibration, Flow and head reduction, leakage, and inevitably to pump failure.
Do you have any cavitation horror stories? Share them and lets see if we can get to the bottom of the issues you are facing.
Editor’s note: Ian James has a complete training presentation portfolio that highlights a wide range of pump, seal and related issues to help you in dealing with your own pumping issues. Click on our training page or contact us directly about this or any of the many other helpful pump presentations from ProFlow Solutions.