Flows in Complex Systems

Internal Flow and Axial Thrust Balancing of a Rocket Pump

[+] Author and Article Information
Takashi Shimura

 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 1Koganezawa, Kakuda, Miyagi, 981-1525, Japanshimura.takashi@jaxa.jp

Satoshi Kawasaki

 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 1Koganezawa, Kakuda, Miyagi, 981-1525, Japankawasaki.satoshi@jaxa.jp

Masaharu Uchiumi

 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 1Koganezawa, Kakuda, Miyagi, 981-1525, Japanuchiumi.masaharu@jaxa.jp

Toshiya Kimura

 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 1Koganezawa, Kakuda, Miyagi, 981-1525, Japankimura.toshiya@jaxa.jp

Jun Matsui

 Yokohama National University, 79-5, Tokiwadai, Hodogaya, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 240-8501, Japanjmat@ynu.ac.jp

J. Fluids Eng 134(4), 041103 (Apr 20, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006470 History: Received August 31, 2011; Revised March 22, 2012; Published April 19, 2012; Online April 20, 2012

Large axial thrust is produced on the rotor assembly of high-pressure rocket pumps. Thus, to ensure the reliability of bearings supporting the high rotational speed rotor, precise axial thrust balancing is essential. To realize complete axial thrust balancing, the back shroud of the main impeller is employed as the balance piston of a self-balancing type axial thrust balancing system in which the rotor assembly moves axially to compensate unbalance axial force. In this balancing system, which is often applied, complicated internal flow characteristics and pressure distributions are very important for predicting the precise characteristics of the axial thrust produced by the system. In the present study, a calculation method for analyzing the internal flow system taking into account effects of boundary layer conditions and angular momentum change in the impeller side-chambers is applied to the system combining the balance piston and grooves on the casing wall of the balance piston chamber. The analysis program is able to detect phenomena which could not be captured in past calculations and is effective for calculating internal flow characteristics much faster than possible with CFD analysis. A combination of balance piston and grooves on the casing wall of the balance piston chamber was confirmed to be suitable for extending the dynamic range of axial thrust balancing although installation of the grooves increased the leakage flow rate and friction torque at the same time.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

An example of rocket pump

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Figure 2

Internal flow passage of LOX pump

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Figure 3

Configuration of balance piston

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Figure 4

Geometry of grooves tested

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Figure 5

Effects of grooves on pressure drop

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Figure 6

Effects of fluid angular velocity in balance piston chamber on the compensating axial thrust of the balance piston. Calculated by simple method [6].

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Figure 7

Flow pattern model between walls

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Figure 8

Calculation model of leakage flow

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Figure 9

Calculation result of front chamber

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Figure 10

CFD result of grooved wall (front chamber)

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Figure 11

Characteristics of balance piston calculated by present method

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Figure 12

Effects of balance hole A

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Figure 13

Transient of the #1 orifice clearance

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Figure 14

Effects of rotational speed on the axial thrust and leakage flow rate

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Figure 15

Friction torque




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