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Cavitation measurement and mapping

Ensuring industry has the right metrics for ultrasound

Many industries rely on ultrasound to generate cavitation within liquid systems. Cavitation is the formation and subsequent collapse of bubbles within a liquid that create transient zones of high temperature and pressure. These events result in local jets and shock waves within the liquid that can affect materials in their proximity. This can be both beneficial to processes, such as de-aggregating particles, and negative when causing surface erosion. Understanding and quantifying the production of cavitation within a liquid is key to characterising the performance  of ultrasonic process equipment.

Broadband acoustic emission, associated with cavitation events, has been demonstrated to correlate with many of the processes linked to cavitation including erosion, sonochemistry, sonoluminescence and particle modification. It is one of the most reliable indicators of expected cavitation process effectiveness. NPL has developed a sensor that can measure the broadband acoustic emissions generated by cavitation. This information is fed into the NPL CaviMeterTM instrument that converts this information into a numerical measurement of cavitation intensity in real time at the location of the sensor.      

When moved through a process liquid, this sensor can also be used to produce a map of cavitation intensity identifying regions of high and low activity. Understanding the magnitude and location of cavitation intensity can support process scale-up, troubleshoot problems and provide engineering insights to help support the development and optimisation of industrial applications.


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