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Thursday, 28 May 2015

CAVITATION IN HYDRAULIC SYSTEMS

We have discussed in previous post about causes of hydraulic system overheating and cost of hydraulic oil leaks as well as we have also studied various "Reasons of hydraulic hose failure".
Today we will discuss what cavitations are and why it occurs in hydraulic system. 

When, in a hydraulic system, supplied volume of hydraulic fluid to a component of circuit of hydraulic system is less as compared to the required volume of hydraulic fluid for that component of hydraulic circuit.

In that situation, absolute pressure across that component of hydraulic circuit will fall below than the vapor pressure of hydraulic fluid and thus there will be formation of vapor bubbles in hydraulic fluid and these vapor bubbles will be collapsed when compresses.

Formation of vapor bubbles and sudden collapsing of these vapor bubbles will be responsible for erosion of metal and that is called as cavitation.
Image source: Vickers Hydraulic pump repair 
Cavitation is very strong poison for health and efficiency of a component of hydraulic system as hydraulic component will be damaged due to formation and collapsing of vapor bubbles in fluid. Hydraulic fluid might be contaminated due to cavitation in hydraulic system as cavitation causes the metal erosion. 

We should normally check the return oil filter of hydraulic system after predefined frequency in order to confirm the erosion of metal. Cavitation might be the main reason of failure of hydraulic pump or hydraulic motor in a hydraulic system.

We must be aware that cavitation will not occur only in hydraulic motor and hydraulic pump but also it can occur at any component of hydraulic system, hence we must have to think to use an anti-cavitation valve in our hydraulic circuit to avoid the problem of metal erosion due to cavitation.

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