Cavitation is a phenomenon caused by a sudden drop in pressure. The static pressure of the liquid drops below the vapor pressure of the liquid, leading to the formation of small vapor bubbles in the liquid which implode upon pressure increase. The imploding creates pressure peaks of up to several hundred bar and temperatures of more than 1000 °C. The consequences are disastrous for the pump: a cavitating pump can be irreparably damaged within a short time. The damage can cause metal particles to crumble and damage other components in the hydraulic circuit.
Possible causes of cavitation:
- presence of air or water in the oil;
- high oil temperature (high vapor pressure);
- after acceleration of oil behind a choke;
- suction hose sucked up;
- suction line too narrow;
- dirty suction filter;
- too thick oil;
- insufficient aeration of the reservoir.