Back to overview

WIKA’s Pressure Transducers Monitor and Reduce Propeller Cavitation

WIKA’s Pressure Transducers Monitor and Reduce Propeller Cavitation

You’ve heard about WIKA’s gauges in HVAC, refrigeration, and other systems, but did you know that WIKA instruments can be found in space too? It’s true. Three WIKA electronic pressure measurement instruments, the Submersible Liquid Level Pressure Transmitter Type LS-10  the Submersible Liquid Level Pressure Transmitter Type LH-10, and the General Purpose Pressure Transmitter Type S-10, have been specially designed to handle the challenging environmental conditions of aerospace and maritime applications.

And the problem they specifically monitor is cavitation.

What is cavitation?

Complex fluid dynamics can lead to unusual problems such as propeller cavitation, a phenomenon in which bubbles and vapor pockets spontaneously form on the edges and surfaces of propeller blades due to the dramatically decreased localized pressure in those regions. How do they form? The phase of a substance (solid, liquid, or gas) is a function of pressure and temperature. Water changes from a liquid to a gas in small quantities in the low-pressure regions at the tip of the propeller.

Cavitation is a problem because it causes a propeller to degrade, shortening its useful life and leading to varying degrees of vibration and pressure fluctuation in the ship and the surrounding water. As cavitation bubbles implode, they cause vibrations that induce fatigue-related failures and cracks in the propeller. Implosion of cavitation bubbles also causes visible pitting on the surface of the propeller. Pressure fluctuation from cavitation bubbles on the aft end of a ship also causes vibration in the ship’s hull.

Military and passenger ships must minimize and monitor cavitation and the effect of the vibration on the ship hull. That’s where pressure transducers come into play.

How do pressure transducers help?

Pressure transducers have proven useful in determining the presence and effects of cavitation. Pressure transducers are installed at key points, such as the aft end of the hull and above the propeller,  where they are used to measure pressure fluctuation and analyze fluid dynamics.

Aerospace, military, and ship-related applications all call for pressure transducers that are compatible with salt, brackish, and fresh water, and have good vibration resistance. Pressure transducers are responsible for determining the amplitude and period of pressure fluctuations due to cavitation-induced vibration at the aft end of ships.

To find out more about how WIKA’s pressure transducers can assist with applications to monitor cavitation, contact WIKA today.

WIKA’s Pressure Transducers Monitor and Reduce Propeller Cavitation