An experimental procedure has been developed which makes possible accurate and reproducible determinations of cavitation damage. This procedure has been applied to a study of the effect of cathodic currents on cavitation damage. A series of experiments, in which the test liquid was a solution of salt in water, showed a reduction in cavitation weight loss for all of the materials examined when the test specimen was made the cathode of an electrolytic cell and when the conditions were such that gas was evolved at the specimen surface. This protective effect against cavitation damage increased with increasing magnitude of the cathodic current. These observations support the view that the protective effect was due to the layer of hydrogen gas evolved on the surface of the specimen. A similar protective effect was observed when the specimen was made the anode in a test liquid which was buffered distilled water; in this situation the gas evolved at the specimen surface is oxygen. Additional evidence for this protective mechanism of a gas layer on the specimen surface was found in a series of experiments in which the voltage applied to the cell was reduced to a level at which no gas was evolved on the surface. There was then no protective effect with the specimen cathodic or anodic.

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