A study on tip leakage vortex dynamics and cavitation in axial-flow pump

Lei Shi, Desheng Zhang, Yongxin Jin, Weidong Shi, B.P.M. van Esch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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The tip leakage flows and related cavitation in the tip region of an axial-flow pump were investigated in detail using the numerical and experimental methods. The numerical results of the pump model performance were in good agreement with experimental data. The flow structures in the tip clearance were clarified clearly with detailed data involving the axial velocity and turbulent kinetic energy. When depicting the feature of vortex core, the advanced vortex identification method λ 2-criterion was used. Simultaneously, the minimum tension criterion was also applied to predict the cavitation inception for different flow rates and it is consistent with the distributions of vorticity and pressure in the vortex core. The roll-up process of TLV is highly three-dimensional and the entrainment would follow different paths. Then, both the numerical and experimental approaches show the cavitation patterns for different cavitation conditions, and it also finds that slight cavitation would promote the development of tip leakage vortex (TLV) while the TLV seems to be eliminated for a low cavitation number, especially before a specific location of blade tip due to the blade loading change induced by cavitation possibly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035504
Number of pages19
JournalFluid Dynamics Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • axial-flow pump
  • cavitation
  • CFD
  • high-speed photography
  • tip leakage vortex


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