A condition which can occur in liquid handling machinery (e.g. centrifugal pumps) where a system pressure decrease in the suction line and pump inlet lowers fluid pressure and vaporization occurs. The result is mixed flow which may produce vibration and damage to components.

Cavitation can occur in a hydraulic system as a result of low fluid levels that draw air into the system, producing tiny bubbles that expand explosively at the pump outlet, causing metal erosion and eventual pump destruction.

Often a cause of erosive damage to:

Can be the cause of excessive noise.

See also: Cavitation Corrosion.

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Subjects: Mechanical Engineering Physics