Performance and radial loading of a mixed-flow pump under non-uniform suction flow

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Many centrifugal pumps have a suction velocity profile, which is nonuniform, either by design like in double-suction pumps, sump pumps, and in-line pumps, or as a result of an installation close to an upstream disturbance like a pipe bend. This paper presents an experimental study on the effect of a nonuniform suction velocity profile on performance of a mixed-flow pump and hydrodynamic forces on the impeller. In the experiments, a newly designed dynamometer is used, equipped with six full Wheatstone bridges of strain gauges to measure the six generalized force components. It is placed in between the shaft of the pump and the impeller and corotates with the rotor system. A high accuracy is obtained due to the orthogonality of bridge positioning and the signal conditioning electronics embedded within the dynamometer. The suction flow distribution to the pump is adapted using a pipe bundle situated in the suction pipe. Results of measurements show the influence of the suction flow profile and blade interaction on pump performance and forces. Among the most important observations are a backward whirling motion of the rotor system and a considerable steady radial force.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)051101-1-051101-7
JournalJournal of Fluids Engineering : Transactions of the ASME
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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