Cavitation Inception in Spool Valves

[+] Author and Article Information
C. Samuel Martin

School of Civil Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.

H. Medlarz

Institute for Hydromechanics, University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, West Germany

D. C. Wiggert

Department of Civil Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.

C. Brennen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

J. Fluids Eng 103(4), 564-575 (Dec 01, 1981) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3241768 History: Received March 18, 1980; Online October 26, 2009


Cavitation has been investigated in directional control valves in order to identify damage mechanisms characteristic of components of aircraft hydraulic systems. Tests have been conducted in a representative metal spool valve and in a model three times larger. Data taken under noncavitating conditions with both valves showed that the position of the high-velocity annular jet shifts orientation, depending upon valve opening and Reynolds number. By means of high-frequency response pressure transducers strategically placed in the valve chamber cavitation could be sensed by the correlation of noise with a cavitation index. The onset of cavitation can be detected by comparing energy spectra for a fixed valve opening and a constant discharge. Another sensitive indicator of cavitation inception is the ratio of cavitating to noncavitating spectral densities. The incipient cavitation number as defined in this investigation is correlated with the Reynolds number for both valves.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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