Technical Briefs

An Experimental Study on the Effect of Oil Viscosity and Wear-Ring Clearance on the Performance of an Industrial Centrifugal Pump

[+] Author and Article Information
Wen-Guang Li

Department of Fluid Machinery,  Lanzhou University of Technology, 287 Langongping Road, Lanzhou, 730050 Gansu, Chinaliwg40@sina.com

J. Fluids Eng 134(1), 014501 (Feb 24, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005671 History: Received June 10, 2011; Revised September 11, 2011; Published February 23, 2012; Online February 24, 2012

The clearance of wear-rings in the impeller of centrifugal pumps has an important influence on the pump’s performance. Unfortunately, this effect has not been quite well documented, especially for the centrifugal pumps handling viscous oils. An industrial centrifugal pump with low specific speed was employed as a model to investigate the effect of the clearance on the performance of the pump. In this experimental study, the clearances of the wear-rings on the impeller shroud and hub were enlarged; the performances of the pump were measured when it pumped water and the viscous oils. The performance curves, the hydraulic parameters, and their relative variation ratios at best efficiency points were examined carefully for different clearances at various viscosities. The results showed that the flow rate is varied relatively in a range of −6% − +5%, the head −10% − +6%, the shaft-power + 2% −+8% and the efficiency −19% − +2%, respectively, when the clearance was enlarged from 0.25 mm to 0.85 mm at best efficiency points. The clearance of wear-rings on shroud has a more significant influence on the performance than on the hub. However, such an effect is weakened with increasing viscosity.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Cross-section (a) and wear-ring construction (b) of industrial centrifugal pump

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Figure 2

Experimental rig for centrifugal pumps handling viscous oils, (a) sketch of rig, (b) photo of rig

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Figure 3

Performance curves in terms of flow rate when the clearance is enlarged in Case A, B and C at three levels of viscosity

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Figure 4

Flow rate, head, shaft-power and efficiency as a function of viscosity at the best efficiency point and various clearances of wear-rings

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Figure 5

Relative variation ratios of hydraulic parameters versus viscosity at the best efficiency point when clearance is increased



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