ValMatic2008-Cavitation in Valves_7!22!08 | Valve | Pressure


Cavitation in Valves

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Therefore. When flow passes through a throttled valve. CAVITATION ANALYSIS Three levels of cavitation have been defined by AWWA. but when the valve must be throttled or modulated in cavitating conditions for long periods of time. y Choked cavitation is the point where the vaporization of the fluid reaches sonic velocity in the valve port and limits the flow through the valve. Only special control valves with cavitation trim (i. y Constant cavitation is a steady rumbling sound associated with start of possible valve damage. but also creates localized stresses in the pipe walls and valve body that can cause severe pitting.e. The condensation of the bubbles not only produces a ringing sound. then the factory should be consulted for incipient cavitation data. a localized low pressure zone forms immediately downstream of the valve. and the bubbles violently implode causing a popping or rumbling sound similar to tumbling rocks in a pipe. As the vapor bubbles flow downstream. the life of the valve can be drastically reduced. Cavitation Cavitation is a common occurrence in shutoff valves during the last few degrees of closure when the supply pressure is greater than about 100 psig. Cavitation is the sudden vaporization and condensation of a liquid downstream of the valve due to localized low pressure zones. the pressure recovers.CAVITATION IN VALVES INTRODUCTION Cavitation can occur in valves when used in throttling or modulating service. y Incipient cavitation represents the beginning stage of cavitation where light popping noises are heard. an analysis of flow conditions is needed when a valve is used for flow or pressure control. If perfectly quiet operation is needed. the liquid vaporizes (boils) and forms a vapor pocket. The sound of cavitation in a pipeline is unmistakable. If the localized pressure falls below the vapor pressure of the fluid. Val-Matic recommends that the constant cavitation data be used when judging the affects of cavitation on the life of the valve. Figure 1. Valves can withstand limited durations of cavitation. A cavitation index can be calculated to predict whether cavitation will occur as follows: 1 . sleeve valves) should be used for choked conditions.

psig The lower the value for the cavitation index. manufacturers typically suggest that when σ is less than 2. psig -14. the required valve angle must be calculated using the flow coefficient data for the subject valve. Next.P v ) / (Pu . Degrees Open Figure 2.5. psig vapor pressure adjusted for temperature and atmospheric pressure. prolonged throttling below 10 degrees open regardless of the cavitation index is not recommended because high localized velocities may scour and wear the valve seating surfaces. sea level upstream pressure. Also. Valve Constant Cavitation Data 16 14 12 Cavitation Coefficient BUTTERFLY 10 SAFE OPERATING ZONE PLUG 8 6 BALL 4 2 CAVITATION ZONE 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 0 Valve Opening. then constant cavitation will occur and prolonged throttling at that angle would not be recommended. If the point is below the graphed line. CAVITATION DATA Val-Matic conducted flow tests on quarter-turn valves and developed cavitation coefficients for the valves as shown in the graph below. cavitation may occur. dimensionless downstream pressure.2 psig for water at 60°F. As a rule of thumb. Cavitation Characteristics of Valves 2 .Pd) cavitation index.σ where: σ = Pd = Pv = = Pu = = ( Pu . the more likely cavitation will occur. To use the graph. the cavitation index is calculated and plotted on the graph.

If the point falls below the applicable valve curve.000 36 40. in Plug Butterfly Ball 30 28.070 2. psi Q = desired flow rate.100 27.750 8.100 369.000 14 6. Figure 3.900 257.100 20 12.300 14. the valve position in degrees open can be read off of the graph in Figure 3 and used to plot the cavitation index in Figure 2. BUTTERFLY.500 24 18. Flow Characteristics of Valves 3 .600 70.000 16 8.000 10 3. the angle of throttling can be by dividing this Cv by the full open Cv shown in the table below.700 54 144. This is the percent of full open Cv.200 1.250 4.550 22.300 42. AND BALL VALVE Cv FLOW COEFFICIENTS VALVE SIZE.310 8 2.000 480.520 48 114.000 56.500 66 221.700 61. in Plug Butterfly Ball 1 37 2 150 2.350 30. then serious cavitation may occur.VALVE COEFFICIENT DATA To determine the required valve angle for a particular flow application.000 Finally.800 42.430 4.000 172.800 60 180.000 42 87.5 240 3 320 380 4 570 590 6 1.150 8.000 12 4. PLUG.000 106. gpm Given the required Cv.600 18.200 15. calculate the required valve Cv from the following equation: __ Cv = Q / √∆P where: ∆P = valve differential pressure.700 72 266. by finding this percentage on the vertical axis of the flow characteristic graph.500 18 10.750 6.000 VALVE SIZE.050 11.

1. 4 . When cavitation is predicted. Plot the cavitation index of 4. The percent of full open Cv is found by: % Cv = 100 x 122 / 2070 or 5. Pu equals 5 + 6 or 11 psig. Increase the downstream pressure by throttling a downstream valve or installing an orifice. the throttling angle will be 22 degrees open. 3. At this flow rate. Therefore. Install vacuum breaker ports immediately downstream of the valve to reduce the vacuum pocket. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Valve manufacturers can perform an analysis to predict when cavitation will occur based on flow test data. The upstream pressure is a constant 25 psig because the supply source is an elevated tank. The valve is mounted near the sand filter and will see a downstream pressure of 5 psig while controlling the flow rate to 300 gpm. Calculate the cavitation index: σ σ σ = = = ( Pu . The point is above the cavitation line and is in the “Safe Operating Zone”. 4. 4.5) 4.EXAMPLE APPLICATION An 8” plug valve equipped with a modulating motor will be used in a backwash system to limit the flow rate to a sand filter.2 on the cavitation graph (Figure 2) with 22 degrees on the x axis. Decrease the differential pressure by using two valves in series. it was calculated that the valve must drop 6 psig. Determine the valve angle: The full-open Cv for the 8” valve is 2070.(-14.2 2.P v ) / (Pu . some available remedies include: 1. Use a small bypass line for low flow rates. 2. Calculate the required Cv: __ Cv = Q / √∆P_ Cv = 300 / √6 Cv = 122 3. so cavitation will not be a problem.2)) / (11 .Pd) (11 .9% Referring to the plug valve characteristic curve in Figure 3.

5 .” pp 55-58.. Butterfly Valves: Torque. pp. “Test Procedures for Determining Cavitation Limits in Control Valves. “Test Report on the Hydraulic Performance of a 4” Plug Valve Owned by Val-Matic Valve”. USU-180h.REFERENCES 1. March 1972. [Confidential]. “Throttling Valves: Testing and Selection. AWWA Manual M49. Utah State University Lab Report No. Head Loss. November 1986. Val-Matic Test Report No.” pp. 163-169. W.. Rahmeyer. 1011. and Cavitation Analysis. 4. Journal AWWA. Rahmeyer. Paul. William J. 2. Winn. 27-32. 3. Journal AWWA. William J.

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