A metallographic study has been made of the damage produced in pure aluminum by cavitation at ultrasonic frequencies. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy of eroded specimens indicate that the extensive slip steps and massive undulations produced on the surface result from shock deformation. It is proposed that shock loading is caused by the pressure pulse of a cloud of cavities collapsing in concert. It is apparent that fatigue (in the conventional metallurgical sense), corrosion, or localized melting cannot be considered responsible for the observed cavitation damage.
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