Cavitation Phenomena in Reciprocating Pumps

Cavitation Phenomena in Reciprocating Pumps

Author: Elmar Zimmermann

Because of their outstanding properties, reciprocating positive displacement pumps are used in many applications. Pumping fluids at high delivery pressures and metering comprise the most frequent range of use. The design of reciprocating pumps requires an exact knowledge of the occurring phenomena, such as unacceptable pipeline pulsation and harmful cavitation.

Karsten Opitz and Eberhard Schlücker, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, used a high-speed camera to capture the occurring cavitation phenomena such as the very fast generation and collapse of cavities.

The experiments suggest that cavitation in reciprocating positive displacement pumps is mainly harmless and unable to generate damages at the suction valve and in the working chamber. Therefore, it should be considered whether the entire prevention of all cavitation conditions, due to API 674, is really necessary.

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