Water Hammer Resulting from Cavitating Pumps

by M. R. Carstens,
T. W. Hagler, Jr.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1964, Vol. 90, Issue 6, Pg. 161-184

Document Type: Journal Paper


In the transport of phosphate-ore slurry in a pipeline containing pumps in series, a pump will occasionally blow up. Previously, investigated failure that stemmed from water hammer, as the result of rapid valve closure or power failure, are not applicable to the slurry pipelines. Consequently, a model pipeline consisting of three pumps in series was constructed for the purpose of determining the mechanism of water-hammer generation. Water hammer was found to be generated as the liquid columns collide when the vapor cavities at the cavitating pumps decay. Theoretical results of the complex flow situation are analyzed by means of graphical analysis of shock waves. The engineering solution is simply to prevent cavitation of the pumps.

Subject Headings: Pumps | Power outage | Cavitation | Water management | Slurries | Slurry pipelines | Forensic engineering | Pipe failures

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