Date of Award

12-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Nuclear Engineering

Major Professor

Arthur E. Ruggles

Committee Members

Laurence F. Miller, Ronald E. Pevey

Abstract

Cavitation is a significant concern for the reliable operation of a centrifugal pump. Liquid metal flow loops are used in nuclear, chemical, metal forming, and liquid metal dynamo applications. Understanding of the cavitation characteristics of liquid metals is increasingly important to the design and operation of these facilities. One recent field of cavitation research has developed for mercury flow in spallation targets used in neutron sources. To further the understanding of mercury cavitation, a review of the existing literature on water cavitation, liquid metal cavitation, and mercury cavitation is performed. The mechanics of cavitation and the analytical methods applied to cavitation problems are discussed and analyzed. Acoustic data from the centrifugal pump for the mercury flow loop at the Spallation Neutron Source in Oak Ridge National Laboratory are examined.

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