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Industrial MicroHydraulics

Cavitation

Introduction

Liquid flowing through any orifice will cavitate whenever its velocity causes the pressure in the throat of the orifice to drop below the vapor pressure of the flowing liquid. Even though there may be a high supply pressure and a high back pressure on the orifice, if the velocity is high enough there will be a subsequent lowering of the pressure in the throat of the orifice and the possibility of cavitation.

The effects of cavitation are choked flow and erosion - both of which are undesirable. To prevent cavitation, the throat pressure must be maintained, either by:

  1. Applying sufficiently high back pressure, or
  2. Reducing the velocity of the liquid as it flows through a restrictor.