Cavitation prevention and protection is an important consideration in the design and operation of valves used in water distribution systems. One should be able to determine if cavitation exists, and if so its intensity and effects on the system. Cavitation in valves is a destructive condition that seriously affects the operation and service of the valve and occurs when fluid passing through the valve lowers to the vapor pressure of the fluid causing vapor cavities (bubbles) to form. When the fluid passes out of the low-pressure area into a higher-pressure area, the vapor cavity becomes unstable and collapses. This collapse is what can sometimes be heard or seen and is the reason we must be concerned about its presence in pipeline systems. The collapse can be violent and is accompanied by noise, vibrations, and possible erosion damage to the valve or surrounding pipeline.
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