0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

FREQUENCY, Hz

FIGURE 2 Noise spectra of cavitation and vane passage on a centrifugal pump the incident vane angle is incorrect, high-velocity, low-pressure eddies will form. If the liquid pressure is reduced to the vaporization pressure, the liquid will flash. Later in the flow path the pressure will increase. The implosion that follows causes what is usually referred to as cavitation noise. The collapse of the vapor pockets, usually on the nonpressure side of the impeller blades, causes severe damage (blade erosion) in addition to noise.

Sound levels measured at the casing of an 8000-hp (5970-kW) pump and near the suction piping during cavitation are shown in Figure 2. The cavitation produced a wide-band shock that excited many frequencies; however, in this case, the vane passing frequency (number of impeller blades times revolutions per second) and multiples of it predominated. Cavitation noise of this type usually produces very-high-frequency noise, best described as "crackling."

Cavitation-like noise can also be heard at flows less than design, even when available inlet NPSH is in excess of pump required NPSH, and this has been a puzzling problem. An explanation offered by Fraser4,5 suggests that noise of a very low random frequency but very high intensity results from backflow at the impeller eye or at the impeller discharge, or both, and every centrifugal pump has this recirculation under certain conditions of flow reduction. Operation in a recirculating condition can be damaging to the pressure side of the inlet or discharge impeller blades (and also to casing vanes). Recirculation is evidenced by an increase in loudness of a banging type, random noise, and an increase in suction or discharge pressure pulsations as flow is decreased. Refer to Subsections 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 for further information.

Pressure regulators or flow control valves may produce noise associated with both turbulence and flow separation. These valves, when operating with a severe pressure drop, have high flow velocities that generate significant turbulence. Although the generated noise spectrum is very broad-band, it is characteristically centered around a frequency corresponding to a Strouhal number of approximately 0.2.

cavitation and flashing For many liquid pump piping systems, it is common to have some degree of flashing and cavitation associated with the pump or with the pressure control valves in the piping system. High flow rates produce more severe cavitation because of greater flow losses through restrictions.

In the suction piping of positive displacement pumps, high-amplitude pulsations can be generated by the plungers and amplified by the system acoustics and cause the dynamic pressure to periodically reach the vapor pressure of the liquid even though the suction static pressure may be above this pressure. As the cyclic pressure increases, the vapor bubbles collapse, producing noise and shock to the system, and this can result in erosion as well as undesirable noise. (See Figure 9, Section 3.4.)

Flashing is particularly common in hot water systems (feedwater pump systems) when the hot, pressurized water experiences a decrease in pressure through a restriction (for example, flow control valve). This reduction of pressure allows the liquid to suddenly vaporize, or flash, which results in a noise similar to cavitation. To avoid flashing after a restriction, sufficient back pressure should be provided. Alternately, the restriction could be located at the end of the line so the flashing energy can dissipate into a larger volume. Refer to Subsec. 2.3.4 for additional information.

Survival Treasure

Survival Treasure

This is a collection of 3 guides all about survival. Within this collection you find the following titles: Outdoor Survival Skills, Survival Basics and The Wilderness Survival Guide.

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