What Is Cavitation Erosion, and How Can I Prevent It?

Cavitation erosion is a common type of deterioration resulting from surface material loss, most commonly associated with metallic components of hydraulic machinery.

In hydraulics systems, cavitation erosion occurs when differences in the pressures of high-velocity liquids result in the formation of vapor bubbles on a metallic surface. When the vapor bubbles abruptly collapse, they leave a lasting mark on the metallic surface on which they formed.

If your hydraulics system is suffering from cavitation erosion, you should visit a provider of metallurgical services in Gastonia, NC. When cavitation erosion occurs on a metallic substance, particularly one used in a hydraulics system, a number of adverse effects can occur, including:

  • Reduced pump performance: Over time, cavitation erosion makes the metal surface rougher, resulting in reduced pump performance and efficiency.
  • Reduced load bearing capabilities: Cavitation erosion slowly chips away at the strength of the metallic surface it is degrading. This will result in reduced load bearing capacity.
  • More noise emission: Because surfaces suffering from cavitation erosion are rougher, they will emit more noise when they are in use. They will also generate more heat.
  • Equipment downtime: Cavitation erosion may also erode your bottom line! Equipment downtime can be costly. You may suffer tremendous expenses from downed equipment.
  • Risk of injury: Hydraulics systems suffering from cavitation erosion are more likely to fail, which puts your employees at risk of suffering injury on the job.

Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent cavitation erosion before it occurs, including:

  • Increase liquid pressures: When the liquid inside your hydraulics system is fully pressurized, there’s less room for vapor bubbles to form. You should increase the fluid pressure to help ward off cavitation erosion in your hydraulics systems.
  • Avoid high temperatures: Try operating your hydraulics system with the fluid at a consistent temperature below the boiling point. If your fluid is boiling, vapor bubbles could be wreaking havoc on your metallic surfaces.
  • Use alloyed materials: You should also consider replacing your hydraulics components with parts made from alloyed metals with a higher base hardness. This may help you ramp up operational temperatures without worrying about erosion.
  • Reduce operational vibrations: If your hydraulics system is subjected to lots of shaking or if it’s mounted inside or on top of a vehicle, the operational vibrations may be contributing to the formation of vapor bubbles. Reduce the vibrations to prevent erosion.

J.F. Heat Treating Inc. is the premier provider of metallurgical services in Gastonia, NC. You can count on us to provide you with high-quality heat treatments and dependable metallurgy services that will leave your hydraulics systems working better than ever before. We provide comprehensive metallurgical services to ensure that you can address and prevent cavitation erosion.

Contact one of our friendly and professional representatives today to learn more about our extensive range of metallurgical services. We’d be more than happy to help walk you through the processes associated with both preventing and addressing cavitation erosion.

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