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Numerical Simulation of a Self-Stabilizing Rotor of a Centrifugal Pump

[+] Author Affiliations
Christian Steinbrecher, Romuald Skoda, Rudolf Schilling

Munich University of Technology, Garching, Germany

Norbert Müller, Alexander Breitenbach, Nikolaus Mendler

German Heart Center Munich (DHM), Munich, Germany

Paper No. FEDSM2003-45468, pp. 71-78; 8 pages
  • ASME/JSME 2003 4th Joint Fluids Summer Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: Fora, Parts A, B, C, and D
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, July 6–10, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3696-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3673-8
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


The goal of this investigation is to contribute to the design of a centrifugal pump that can operate without bearings. This paper presents numerical studies of fluid-structure interactions on a rotating disc that can move axially unrestricted in a housing. This model mimics the gap flow between the rotor and the housing of a centrifugal pump, which stabilizes the rotor. Fluid-structure occur because of hydrodynamic forces that displace the rotor. First the effect responsible for stabilizing the rotor is described in detail. The next section presents the employed 3D Navier-Stokes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code. Special interest is given to a correct implementation of the Space-Conservation Law, where the time-dependent simulations use moving meshes. The code includes additional modules for grid generation and for calculation of the hydrodynamic forces acting on the rotor surfaces and the resulting displacement of the entire rotor. Newton’s second law is used for the coupling between hydrodynamic forces and resulting axial displacement. Results from stationary simulations are presented and compared with measurements, from the German Heart Center Munich, that show an axial displacement of the rotor results in a hydrodynamic force that pulls the rotor in the opposite direction. Finally, the results from time dependent simulations where the rotor can move unrestricted in axial position are discussed. Here, the influence of the time step is investigated, as well as the influence of geometric parameters and operating conditions.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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