Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Cavitation Study in Centrifugal Pumps Through Acoustic Signal Analysis

(*) Corresponding author

Authors' affiliations



The cavitation phenomenon causes serious problems in centrifugal pumps, such as poor hydraulic performance and damage to the internal structure of the pump produced by material erosion. Additionally, cavitation induces vibrations and noises that do not occur under normal operating conditions. These changes can be used as a guide for the diagnosis of pumps. In this article, different criteria based on the acoustic signals emitted by a centrifugal pump are analyzed to identify its cavitation condition. For this, an experimental assessment, in which the pump operates in four different flow conditions, namely, 20 l/min, 40 l/min, 60 l/min, and 80 l/min, is performed. The detection of acoustic emissions has been carried out through a microphone located at a specific distance from the pump. The results have shown that the use of acoustic parameters such as Loudness, Crest factor, and Zero crossings calculated from the base sound signal, the derivative, and its log dt/dp value, allows the identification of three pump operation zones: one free of cavitation, the onset of cavitation and the fully developed cavitation condition. The study has concluded that acoustic emissions provide sufficient information to diagnose the presence of cavitation. Additionally, the methodology based on this type of signal has the advantage that it does not require high implementation costs, and it can be widely improved depending on the requirements.
Copyright © 2021 Praise Worthy Prize - All rights reserved.


Acoustic Signal; Acoustic Parameter; Cavitation Phenomenon; Noise; Pumps

Full Text:



De la Hoz, J., Valencia, G., Duarte Forero, J., Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes Simulations of the Airflow in a Centrifugal Fan Using OpenFOAM, (2019) International Review on Modelling and Simulations (IREMOS), 12 (4), pp. 230-239.

F. Consuegra, A. Bula, W. Guillín, J. Sánchez, and J. Duarte Forero, Instantaneous in-Cylinder Volume Considering Deformation and Clearance due to Lubricating Film in Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines, Energies, vol. 12, no. 8, p. 1437, 2019.

G. V. Ochoa, C. Isaza-Roldan, and J. Duarte Forero, Economic and Exergo-Advance Analysis of a Waste Heat Recovery System Based on Regenerative Organic Rankine Cycle under Organic Fluids with Low Global Warming Potential, Energies, vol. 13, no. 6, p. 1317, 2020.

Orozco, T., Herrera, M., Duarte Forero, J., CFD Study of Heat Exchangers Applied in Brayton Cycles: a Case Study in Supercritical Condition Using Carbon Dioxide as Working Fluid, (2019) International Review on Modelling and Simulations (IREMOS), 12 (2), pp. 72-82.

G. Amador et al., Characteristics of Auto-Ignition in Internal Combustion Engines Operated with Gaseous Fuels of Variable Methane Number, Journal of Energy Resources Technology, Transactions of the ASME, vol. 139, no. 4, 2017.

J. Duarte, J. Garcia, J. Jiménez, M. E. Sanjuan, A. Bula, and J. González, Auto-Ignition Control in Spark-Ignition Engines Using Internal Model Control Structure, Journal of Energy Resources Technology, Transactions of the ASME, vol. 139, no. 2, 2017.

M. Alibaba, R. Pourdarbani, M. H. K. Manesh, G. V. Ochoa, and J. D. Forero, Thermodynamic, exergo-economic and exergo-environmental analysis of hybrid geothermal-solar power plant based on ORC cycle using emergy concept, Heliyon, vol. 6, no. 4, p. e03758, 2020.

Duarte Forero, J., Lopez Taborda, L., Bula Silvera, A., Characterization of the Performance of Centrifugal Pumps Powered by a Diesel Engine in Dredging Applications, (2019) International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 13 (1), pp. 11-20.

Obregon, L., Valencia, G., Duarte Forero, J., Efficiency Optimization Study of a Centrifugal Pump for Industrial Dredging Applications Using CFD, (2019) International Review on Modelling and Simulations (IREMOS), 12 (4), pp. 245-252.

G. A. Diaz et al., Maximum power from fluid flow by applying the first and second laws of thermodynamics, Journal of Energy Resources Technology, Transactions of the ASME, vol. 139, no. 3, 2017.

Orozco, W., Acuña, N., Duarte Forero, J., Characterization of Emissions in Low Displacement Diesel Engines Using Biodiesel and Energy Recovery System, (2019) International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), 13 (7), pp. 420-426.

McKee K.K., Forbes G.L., Mazhar I., Entwistle R., Howard I. (2014) A Review of Machinery Diagnostics and Prognostics Implemented on a Centrifugal Pump. In: Lee J., Ni J., Sarangapani J., Mathew J. (eds) Engineering Asset Management 2011. Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering. Springer, London.

Morten Kjeldsen, Cavitation in Hydraulic Machinery, 2003.

C. Guo, M. Gao, J. Wang, Y. Shi, and S. He, The effect of blade outlet angle on the acoustic field distribution characteristics of a centrifugal pump based on Powell vortex sound theory, Applied Acoustics, vol. 155, pp. 297-308, 2019.

J. Zhang et al., Experimental investigation on the sharpness reduction of an axial piston pump with reinforced shell, Applied Acoustics, vol. 142, pp. 36-43, 2018.

N. Houhat, V. Tournat, S. Ménigot, T. Boutkedjirt, and J. M. Girault, Optimal pump excitation frequency for improvement of damage detection by nonlinear vibro acoustic modulation method in a multiple scattering sample, Applied Acoustics, vol. 155, pp. 222-231, 2019.

Y. Pan, Y. Li, M. Huang, Y. Liao, and D. Liang, Noise source identification and transmission path optimisation for noise reduction of an axial piston pump, Applied Acoustics, vol. 130, pp. 283-292, 2018.

X. Luo, B. Ji, and Y. Tsujimoto, A review of cavitation in hydraulic machinery, Journal of Hydrodynamics, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 335-358, 2016.

Y. Tomita and A. Shima, High-Speed Photographic Observations of Laser-Induced Cavitation Bubbles in Water, Acta Acustica united with Acustica, vol. 71, no. 3, pp. 161-171, 1990.

C. E. Brennen, Fundamentals of Multiphase Flow. Cambridge University Press, 2005.

D. Papantonis, Hydrodynamic Machines, Hydrodynamic Transmissions. 2009.

W. E. Forsthoffer, Forsthoffer's Best Practice Handbook for Rotating Machinery. Elsevier, 2011.

H. N. Michael, Centrifugal and axial flow pumps, Journal of the Franklin Institute, vol. 246, no. 2, pp. 177-178, 1948.

O. Usta and E. Korkut, Prediction of cavitation development and cavitation erosion on hydrofoils and propellers by Detached Eddy Simulation, Ocean Engineering, vol. 191, p. 106512, 2019.

G. D. Neill, R. L. Reuben, P. M. Sandford, E. R. Brown, and J. A. Steel, Detection of incipient cavitation in pumps using acoustic emission, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part E: Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering, vol. 211, no. 4, pp. 267-277, 1997.

C. E. Brennen, Hydrodynamics of pumps. Cambridge University Press, 2011.

J. Černetič and M. Čudina, Cavitation noise phenomena in centrifugal pumps, in 5th Congress of Alps-Adria Acoustics Association, 2012, vol. 1.

M. Chudina, Noise as an indicator of cavitation in a centrifugal pump, Acoustical Physics, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 463-474, 2003.

J. Černetič, J. Prezelj, and M. Čudina, Use of noise and vibration signal for detection and monitoring of cavitation in kinetic pumps, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 123, no. 5, pp. 3316-3316, 2008.

P. J. McNulty and I. S. Pearsall, Cavitation Inception in Pumps, Journal of Fluids Engineering, vol. 104, no. 1, pp. 99-104, 1982.

S. Gopalakrishman, Modern Cavitation Criteria For Centrifugal Pumps., 1985.

L. Alfayez and D. Mba, Detection of incipient cavitation and determination of the best efficiency point for centrifugal pumps using acoustic emission, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part E: Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering, vol. 219, no. 4, pp. 327-344, 2005.

G. Mousmoulis, N. Karlsen-Davies, G. Aggidis, I. Anagnostopoulos, and D. Papantonis, Experimental analysis of cavitation in a centrifugal pump using acoustic emission, vibration measurements and flow visualization, European Journal of Mechanics - B/Fluids, vol. 75, pp. 300-311, 2019.

M. Čudina and J. Prezelj, Detection of cavitation in operation of kinetic pumps. Use of discrete frequency tone in audible spectra, Applied Acoustics, vol. 70, no. 4, pp. 540-546, 2009.

J. Prezelj, P. Lipar, A. Belšak, and M. Čudina, On acoustic very near field measurements, Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 194-207, 2013.

W. Aures, Sensory euphony as a function of psychoacoustic sensations, 1985.

Albert Rose, Vision: Human and Electronic. 1973.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Please send any question about this web site to
Copyright © 2005-2023 Praise Worthy Prize