Methods and Treatments to Prevent Cavitation in High Pressure Pumps
Publication Date: 2014-Oct-27
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Cavitation is defined as the process of formation and disappearance of the vapor phase of a liquid when it is subjected to reduced and subsequently increased pressures. Cavitation will occur when the net pressure in the fluid is less than the vapor pressure of the fluid. Typically for hydraulic reciprocating pumps used in the fracturing operation, cavitation causes or may cause performance loss (head drop), material damage (cavitation erosion), vibrations, noise and vapor lock (if suction pressure drops below break-off value). This phenomenon can be extremely destructive to pump life. Cavitation can cause pitting of the connecting rod, valve seat and inserts, and pump casing. In some instances, cavitation has been severe enough to wear holes in the casing and damage the valve seat and inserts to such a degree they becomes totally ineffective. More importantly, the pump efficiency will decrease significantly during cavitation as damage to the valves increases. Methods and treatment to minimize and help prevent cavitation damage by employing new state-of-the-art materials and methods are provided. The materials solution is particularly attractive because it does not involve detailed engineering studies, new pattern equipment, or long lead times. The properties and engineering characteristic of these alloys and materials are described regarding its applicability.