Cavitation is a major source of problems in centrifugal pumps. If it is not detected early enough, it can even destroy a pump. Vibration analysis is often used to determine the cavitation, but its vibration signature is still elusive.
In this work, a centrifugal pump was tested for its vibration signatures under different operational conditions. The two abnormal operating conditions studied here are air bubbles and cavitation. A transparent plastic cover was used in the experiments to observe the cavitation. We found that the pump has higher vibration amplitude in the axial direction than in the radial direction. From the experiments, we also determined that a significant amount of air bubbles will significantly increase vibration component associated with impeller vane pass frequency.
read more…image 1: impeller damage because of cavitation