Flow Characteristics of a Centrifugal Pump

[+] Author and Article Information
C. H. Liu

Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology, Lung-Tan, Taiwan

C. Vafidis

Centra Ricerche Fiat, Orbasano, Torino, Italy

J. H. Whitelaw

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2BX, U.K.

J. Fluids Eng 116(2), 303-309 (Jun 01, 1994) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910272 History: Received October 17, 1992; Revised October 06, 1993; Online May 23, 2008


Measurements of velocity have been obtained in a centrifugal pump in terms of angle-resolved values in the impeller passages, the volute, the inlet and exit ducts and are presented in absolute and relative frames. The pump comprised a radial flow impeller with four backswept blades and a single volute, and the working liquid had the same refractive index as the transparent casing to facilitate the use of a laser-Doppler velocimeter. The flows in the impeller passages were found to depart from the curvature of the blade surfaces at off-design conditions with separation from the suction surface and from the shroud. Secondary flows from the suction to pressure surfaces were dominated by the influences of the relative motion between the shroud and impeller surfaces and the tip leakage. Geometric differences of 0.5 mm and one degree in spacing of the four blades caused differences in passage velocity of up to 6 percent of the impeller tip velocity close to the design flowrate and up to 16 percent at the lowest discharge. The flowrate from each impeller passage varied with volute circumferential position by up to 25 percent at an off-design flowrate. Poor matching of the impeller and volute at off-design conditions caused swirl and separation in the inlet and exit pipes.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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