What causes cavitation in a hydraulic cylinder application?

Cavitation results when the cylinder gets vacuum in one or both of the working areas. Typical reasons are high inertia forces and servo or proportional valves that are incorrectly sized. This happens frequently with unequal area cylinders.

What does cavitation mean for my application?

A cavitating system results in an erratic control system.

How can I identify a cavitation problem on my application?

There are several indications to help identify this problem including: 1. losing O-rings at the valve interface, 2. the achievable controller gain is much less than calculated, 3. the drive gets high over- and undershoots when decelerating. The system configuration has to be changed to avoid cavitation by applying asymmetric valve spools or other similar remedies.

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