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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2007, Article ID 85024, 13 pages
Research Article

Influence of Splitter Blades on the Flow Field of a Centrifugal Pump: Test-Analysis Comparison

LEMFI, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers, Paris 75013, France

Received 31 March 2006; Revised 21 November 2006; Accepted 21 November 2006

Academic Editor: Chunill Hah

Copyright © 2007 G. Kergourlay et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This work aims at studying the influence of adding splitter blades on the performance of a hydraulic centrifugal pump. The studied machine is an ENSIVAL-MORET MP 250.200.400 pump (diameter = 408 mm, 5 blades, specific speed = 32), whose impeller is designed with and without splitter blades. Velocity and pressure fields are computed using unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) approach at different flow rates. The sliding mesh method is used to model the rotor zone motion in order to simulate the impeller-volute casing interaction. The flow morphology analysis shows that, when adding splitter blades to the impeller, the impeller periphery velocities and pressures become more homogeneous. An evaluation of the static pressure values all around the impeller is performed and their integration leads to the radial thrust. Global and local experimental validations are carried out at the rotating speed of 900 rpm, for both the original and the splitter blade impellers. The head is evaluated at various flow rates: 50%, 80%, 100%, and 120% of the flow rate at the best efficiency point (BEP). The pressure fluctuations are measured at four locations at the BEP using dynamic pressure sensors. The experimental results match the numerical predictions, so that the effect of adding splitter blades on the pump is acknowledged. Adding splitters has a positive effect on the pressure fluctuations which decrease at the canal duct.