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Theoretical and Experimental Investigation on the Flow Induced Vibrations of a Centrifugal Pump

[+] Author Affiliations
Friedrich-Karl Benra, Hans Josef Dohmen

University Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany

Paper No. IPC2004-0348, pp. 39-46; 8 pages
  • 2004 International Pipeline Conference
  • 2004 International Pipeline Conference, Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 4–8, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4176-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3737-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


The transport of fluids which include a lot of impurities is often done by special single-stage pumps. In order to avoid clogging of the pumps, the impellers have only one blade. This minimum blade number brings strong disadvantages during the pump operation. The rotation of the impeller in the pump casing produces a strongly uneven pressure field along the perimeter of the casing. The resulting periodically unsteady flow forces affect the impeller and produce radial deflections of the pump shaft which can be recognized as vibrations at the bearing blocks or at the pump casing. These vibrations will also be transferred to the pump casing and attached pipes. In a numerical approach the hydrodynamic excitation forces of a single-blade pump were calculated from the time dependent flow field. The flow field is known from the numerical simulation of the three-dimensional, viscous, unsteady flow in the pump by using a commercial computer code determining the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations (URANS). The periodically unsteady flow forces were computed for a complete impeller revolution. This forces affect the rotor of the pump and stimulate it to oscillations. The computed forces were defined as external forces and applied as the load on the rotor for a structural analysis. The resulting oscillations of the rotor were calculated by a transient analysis of the rotors structure using a commercial FEM-Method. To verify the calculated results, experimental investigations have been performed. The deflections of the pump rotor were measured with proximity sensors in a wide range of pump operation. Measurements of the vibration accelerations at the pump casing showed the visible effects of the transient flow. To minimize the vibration amplitudes the energizing forces have been reduced by attaching a compensation mass at the impeller. This procedure can be used as “operational balancing” of the pump rotor for a certain point of operation.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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