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What Are the Most Common Causes of Cavitation?

What Are the Most Common Causes of Cavitation?

Cavitation is a phenomenon that occurs in various fluid systems, including hydraulic equipment, pumps, and valves in heavy-duty and regular machinery. It can cause significant damage to the components and affect the system’s overall performance, resulting in costly and time-consuming repairs.

Understanding the most common causes of cavitation will help keep machines in optimal condition and improve your business’s productivity and consistency. Preventing this phenomenon requires attention to detail, maintenance, and monitoring to ensure optimal performance.

What Is Cavitation?

Cavitation is the formation of vapor-filled cavities or bubbles in a fluid inside a machine due to low pressure or pressure fluctuations. When these bubbles collapse, they produce high-pressure shock waves that can damage the surface of the components they come in contact with. This phenomenon will cause fluid system inefficiency and the machine’s pump to malfunction and fail.

Common Causes of Cavitation

To prevent damage to your machines and your business, you must detect a problem before it worsens. These are the most common causes of cavitation to look out for:

  • High fluid velocity—This occurs when the fluid flows at high speed through a narrow channel. The fluid’s pressure decreases, forming cavities.

  • Low fluid pressure—Low fluid pressure happens when the pressure in the fluid drops below the vapor pressure, causing the liquid to boil and form cavities.

  • Fluid impurities—Impurities in the fluid, like air, gas, or debris, could cause cavitation. When these encounter the liquid, they create pockets of low-pressure areas that lead to cavities.

Most machines that work with pumps to move liquid around a machine can develop cavities. Experienced professionals from a pump repair company will help you minimize damage and fix any problems.

Effects of Cavitation

Cavitation can severely affect fluid systems, and the aftermath from lack of maintenance could hurt productivity and machine efficiency. Some of the most common effects are:

  • Noise and vibration—Cavitation can cause irregular noises and vibrations, disturbing and reducing the system’s overall efficiency.

  • Component damage—The high-pressure shock waves produced during bubble collapse can damage the surface of the components in the fluid system. This damage will lead to cracks, erosion, and wear, reducing the machine’s life span.

  • Reduced efficiency—Cavitation will reduce the efficiency of the fluid system by creating turbulence and reducing the flow rate.

Proper design, operation, and maintenance practices can help prevent cavitation and ensure the optimal performance of a machine’s fluid system.


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