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Word Count: 518
CAVITATION Cause and EffectThe word cavitation is a process that a Hydraulics Technician does not want to encounter Cavitation can occur due to entrained air bubbles in the hydraulic fluid or vaporization of the hydraulic fluid This occurs when the suction lift is excessive and the inlet-pressure falls below the vapor pressure pressure which a liquid starts to boil and thus begins changing into vapor of the liquid As a result air or vapor bubbles which form in the low-pressure inlet region of the pump are collapsed when they reach the high-pressure discharge region This produces high fluid velocity and impact forces which can erode the metallic components and shorten pump life ExampleCavitation is the formation and collapse of vapor bubbles by means of mechanical force This process will cause damage to internal pump components by flaking or pitting the surface of those components The tiny flakes or particles of metal move downstream of the pump and enter other parts of the hydraulic system causing damage to the other components in the system Cavitation will also prevent proper lubrication of mating internal components of the hydraulic system This is caused when the air bubbles move between the mating parts instead of the lubricating fluid Analogy and Explicit Terms Cavitation damages can best be understood by visualizing the sand blasting process Now imagine the air bubbles being the sand and hitting the metallic components of the hydraulic system When a metal surface is sand blasted the metal is chipped away giving it a rough or pitted surface With that analogy imagine the hydraulic system running continuously and what the air bubbles is doing to the systems internal components These rules will control or eliminate cavitation of a pump by keeping the suction pressure above the vapor pressure of the fluid 1 Suction velocity must be kept below 5 fts
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