Cooling system has an important influence on automobile engine performance, and engine cooling water pump(ECWP)in the system has been a research focus at home and abroad. Structural characteristics and hydraulic performances of centrifugal ECWP are analyzed, and the key factors affecting the development of ECWP are also summarized. Cavitation in the ECWP occurs easier under the high working temperature, the limited seriously space structure and the changed severely rotating speed, which seriously affects the cooling system's stability and reliability and brings into a series of problems such as bearing damage, seal failure, shaft fatigue fracture and noise. In this study, achievements on hydraulic, cavitation performances and reliability of ECWP are reviewed, and the development tendency and research focuses in the future are put forward. Firstly, a connection between internal flow feature and hydrodynamic performance needs to be established based on the particle image velocimetry(PIV)technology. Secondly, cavitation mechanism of ECWP with thermodynamic effect needs to be understood and the disadvantage of pressure pulsation caused by cavitation needs to be clarified to improve hydrodynamic performance and reliability. At last, standardization, modularization and serialization of ECWP components should be paid attention, and a development model called "Internet plus Automobile Standard Parts" should be constructed to make ECWP intelligent, controllable and efficient.
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