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Cavitation, in process control valves, refers to the formation of vapor spaces or bubbles within the valve cavity resulting from a rapid drop in pressure as liquid passes through the valve. When the bubbles transit to an area of higher pressure, the higher pressure causes the bubbles to implode, producing shockwaves which propagate through the liquid. These shockwaves can cause metal fatigue and excessive wear on the internals of the valve. The collapsing bubbles also make a discernible sound with accompanying vibration.