Cavitation in Pumps
What is cavitation and how can you prevent it?
Cavitation is the formation and implosion of vapor bubbles where the pressure of a liquid falls below its vapor pressure (at a given temperature).
Vaporization itself does not cause damage; damage happens when the vapor bubbles almost immediately collapse (“implode”) when the pressure is restored or increased. The implosion creates shocks waves that exert tremendous pressures on material surfaces—leading to pitting and erosion.
What causes cavitation? Anything that reduces pressure in the flowing liquid below its vapor pressure at a given temperature. Conditions that contribute to cavitation include the following:
High liquid temperature
Highly viscous liquid
Negative inlet pressure from...
Restricted inlet piping/fittings
Inadequate inlet supply; inadequate tank size
Hard inlet plumbing
Excessive number of elbows
Long inlet lines to pump
Incorrect sizing of inlet filters/clogged filters
Air leaks or agitated fluid
Cavitation causes excessive wear and eventual component failure. It is NOT a good thing! Contact Cat Pumps to inquire about custom pumping systems. When it needs to run, make it Cat Pumps!