Cavitation Part 1

Cavitation is a condition where gas bubbles form within a liquid flow because of liquid pressure falling below the fluid vapor pressure. Inertial cavitation, or transient cavitation, and non-inertial cavitation are the two most common forms. Either way, cavitation is not desirable. Good pump design helps minimize the impact of the condition.

Inertial cavitation occurs when bubbles within the fluid form and collapse in rapid succession. The sudden collapse creates a shock wave which happens frequently in pumps, propellers, control valves, and impellers. The shock waves cause damage to the mechanism and working parts. It’s important to conduct preventative maintenance, like replacing the water pump impeller every 1-2 years and using the right outboard motor oil.

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