Cavitation corrosion (liner pitting) became a major problem for wet sleeve diese engines in the 1940s. For most engines, generous use of supplemental coolant additives (SCAs) adequately controlled pitting. In the mid 1980s, problems of SCA overtreatment such as silicate gelation, water pump seal seepage, and solder bloom raised awareness that too generous usage of SCAs was undesirable. This new awareness caused a general shift toward lower average SCA concentration.
In addition, engine power densities increased and load factors increased as speed limits increased. These factors increased the work load of the engine, resulting in a greater potential for liner pitting.
All these factors have resulted in an increased incidence of liner pitting in recent years. This paper is an overview to help place all the various factors related to liner pitting in perspective. The effects of engine design and materials, cooling system hardware, maintenance practices, and coolant composition are discussed.
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