Evaluation of Field Repairable Materials and Techniques for Cavitation Damage
Can cold-spray techniques offer better resistance to cavitation while offering a better, safer alternative to current
stainless steel welding techniques?
Need and Benefit
There is a strong need by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for a new
repair procedure that is cheaper and can last longer where cavitation occurs. Cavitation occurs when a sudden
pressure decrease causes the formation of vapor bubbles in the water. The bubbles implode causing a high
amount of force that cause cyclic stress that fatigue metals in localized areas. Over time the damage accumulates
and creates high cost maintenance issues. This occurs on the backside of turbomachinery such as impellors,
propellers, and turbines. It also occur on the downstream side of high pressure slide gates, valves, and draft
tubes.. If left unchecked, the rate of damage continues to increase causing significant damage to steel surfaces,
requiring extensive repairs or full replacement of damaged steel.
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