Thursday, December 22, 2016

Combating Cavitation in Industrial Process Control Valves

bubbles resulting from cavitation
Cavitation in liquid processes produces bubbles which can
damage valves.
In process control valves, cavitation results from a rapid drop in pressure as liquid passes through the valve. It results in the formation of vapor spaces or bubbles within the valve cavity. When the bubbles move downstream into a larger cross-sectional area, velocity decreases and pressure increases. The higher pressure now surrounding the bubbles causes them to implode, producing shockwaves which propagate through the liquid. These shockwaves can cause metal fatigue and excessive wear on the internals of the valve. The collapsing bubbles also make a discernible sound with accompanying vibration. The cumulative effects of cavitation can cause rapid deterioration of a valve, resulting in reduced control function, frequent need for service, or premature failure.

There are ways to mitigate cavitation. Some involve changes in the process, others, incorporating a properly designed and selected valve with trim that reduces or prevents the conditions that cause cavitation. The paper below, authored by Flowserve, provides an in depth examination of the causes of cavitation, then continues with explanation of how their specialty valves are designed to overcome the conditions that promote it.

There are detailed illustrations showing the specific valve trim features that impede cavitation. Share your process control valve challenges with application experts, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.