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Unstable Operation of a Mixed-Flow Pump and the Influence of Tip Clearance

[+] Author Affiliations
Bart van Esch

Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Li Cheng

Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China

Paper No. AJK2011-06016, pp. 79-87; 9 pages
  • ASME-JSME-KSME 2011 Joint Fluids Engineering Conference
  • ASME-JSME-KSME 2011 Joint Fluids Engineering Conference: Volume 1, Symposia – Parts A, B, C, and D
  • Hamamatsu, Japan, July 24–29, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4440-3
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Many mixed-flow and axial flow pumps exhibit a so-called unstable head curve. Due to the risk of instabilities this flow region is usually avoided during pump operation. This paper presents experimental and numerical research on the relation between the instability in the head curve and the magnitude of unsteady hydraulic forces. It is found that there is a strong influence of the extend of the clearance gap between impeller blades and casing. The spectral content of the forces shows evidence of rotating instabilities. It indicates that not only instability of the head curve and unsteady forces are interrelated, but also rotating instabilities play a role in this phenomenon. Results of CFD calculations are presented as well, showing the difficulties in simulating the flow under such conditions.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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