Cavitation phenomena are harmful and may bring to severe damages to hydraulic devices such as control valves. For this reason, the international standards provide multiple parameters describing the onset and the development of cavitation regimes. These parameters are commonly evaluated through laboratory analysis, however in many cases experimental tests are not affordable, e.g. for large-sized valves. Multiphase CFD models are able to reproduce the physics of the cavitation phenomenon, but do not allow an easy estimation of the incipient cavitation index. Providing effective methodologies for obtaining reliable prediction of this parameter is the objective of our research. Here we present a method for estimating the incipient cavitation index based on single-phase RANS simulations. The considerable robustness of the estimates makes this method even more attractive for engineering purposes compared to similar methodologies that we developed in recent years. The reliability of the method has been proved by comparison with experimental data regarding orifices and control valves.

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