The suction dynamics of axial piston pumps become more critical if the pump is to be used at high speeds. In order to prevent air-release and cavitation from occurring within the pump it is necessary to pressurise the pump inlet. As the speed of a pump is increased, higher boost pressures are required, due to the extra losses incurred through the suction line and portplate at the higher flowrates. However, the lack of data regarding axial piston pump behavior at high speeds creates problems for the system designer in selecting suitable boost conditions and for the pump designer in selecting the portplate configuration that is required to reduce fluid-borne-noise levels. This paper discusses the suction performance of piston pumps, and presents experimental and simulation results exploring the behavior of a high-speed axial-piston pump. Different air-release and cavitation models that are suitable for simulation studies are investigated.

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