When the pressure in the water increases and comes above the water’s vapor pressure the cavitation bubbles implode, normally very quickly.
- If the implosion happens close to a surface the energy could be directed into the surface causing high pressure loads to the material that causes material fatigue, erosion over time. The material detoriates and holes in the blade will appear if this process is allowed to continue over a longer period.
- The phenomena of cavitation erosion is something that the propeller designer is aware of and take into account when designing the propeller. Cavitation can not be avoided on propellers, that would give too low efficiency, so it has to be controlled and made harmless.