Inspectioneering

Cavitation

Explore this topic

Cavitation is the sudden formation and immediate collapse of vapor or air bubbles in a liquid stream when system pressure falls below the vapor pressure in the liquid, resulting in tiny, yet powerful, shockwaves that can, over time, cause significant damage to metal. In the process industries, cavitation generally occurs in a liquid stream when the system pressure falls below the vapor pressure in the liquid. These often includes pump impellers, areas just downstream of let down valves, and pipe bends where a sudden change in liquid direction occurs.

The damage from cavitation most often manifests as wear or pitting on the surface of the metal. This wear is caused by the cyclic stresses of the repeated shockwaves caused by the collapses of the cavities. While an individual collapse is relatively harmless, numerous collapses can cause erosion over time.

Related Topics

Topic Tools

Share this Topic

Contribute to Definition

We welcome updates to this Integripedia definition from the Inspectioneering community. Click the link below to submit any recommended changes for Inspectioneering's team of editors to review.

Contribute to Definition
Articles about Cavitation
July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

Cavitation is the sudden formation and immediate collapse of vapor or air bubbles in a liquid stream when system pressure falls below the vapor pressure of the liquid. The sudden collapse of these tiny bubbles generates enormous, though tiny forces...

Authors: John Reynolds
Partner Content

Becht’s industry-leading Corrosion and Metallurgical experts are here to help with significant owner-operator experience covering the refining, petrochemical and chemical industries. This expertise is leveraged to help our clients become more...


    Inspectioneering Journal

    Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

    Company Directory

    Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

    Talent Solutions

    Discover job opportunities that match your skillset.

    Case Studies

    Learn from the experience of others in the industry.

    Integripedia

    Inspectioneering's index of mechanical integrity topics – built by you.

    Industry News

    Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.

    Blog

    Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

    Expert Interviews

    Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.

    Event Calendar

    Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.

    Downloads

    Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.

    Videos

    Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.

    Acronyms

    Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.