A theoretical and experimental study is presented on the mass oscillation instability in hydraulic systems with entrapped gas pockets and pumps with positive slope in the head curve. In order to simulate these systems, the one-dimensional unsteady equations for compressible liquid flow were solved by means of a suitable calculation algorithm, based on the method of characteristics. Additionally, a series of laboratory tests was conducted on a conventional centrifugal pump that operated in a circuit with a dead end and different amounts of entrapped air. In accordance with the predictions of the theoretical model, instability was found to develop with limit cycle pressure oscillations of frequency dependent on the trapped air amount.

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