Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
nC2 An Enterprise Consultancy Unit

Cavitation Testing

Cavitation erosion is a form of erosion caused by the implosion of gas bubbles on a surface causing material loss.Testing can be carried out using vibratory apparatus to simulate the formation and collapse of cavities in a test liquid.

Cavitation erosion in an impeller
Cavitation can cause erosion for instance in impellers, pumps, hydraulic turbines, hydraulic dynamometers, valves, bearings, diesel engine cylinder liners, ship propellers, hydrofoils, and in internal flow passages with obstructions.
Test Equipment
Testing can be carried out to ASTM G32 “Standard Test Method for Cavitation Erosion Using Vibratory Apparatus” where a 20 kHz ultrasonic transducer attached to a titanium horn to induce the formation and collapse of cavities in the liquid.
Sample under cavitation testing
Cavitation testing creates erosion (material loss) of the specimen under test. A plot of cumulative erosion vs exposure is determined by periodic interruption of the test and measuring mass loss.
Cavitation erosion used to compare the resistance of different materials
Cavitation erosion can be used to compare the resistance of different materials and to study the nature and progress of damage in a given material. The test conditions can also be varied to study the effect of variables on the damage produced.
Surface profile of cavitation
surface can be analysed using 3D profilometry
cross section image using SEM
cross section image using SEM

Testing can be carried out to ASTM G32 “Standard Test Method for Cavitation Erosion Using Vibratory Apparatus” where a 20 kHz ultrasonic transducer attached to a titanium horn to induce the formation and collapse of cavities in the liquid creating erosion (material loss) of the specimen under test. A plot of cumulative erosion vs exposure is determined by periodic interruption of the test and measuring mass loss. Typical tests can last between 8 to 14 hours depending on the nature of the material.

Cavitation erosion can be used to compare the resistance of different materials and to study the nature and progress of damage in a given material and has been used in the oil and gas industry in material selection for cavitation resistant materials. The test conditions can also be varied to study the effect of variables on the damage produced. Surface profilometry can be carried out to determine the nature of the damage, see our characterisation page for more information.

Privacy Settings