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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2017, Article ID 2329591, 10 pages
Research Article

Effect of Tip Clearance on the Internal Flow and Hydraulic Performance of a Three-Bladed Inducer

1School of Energy and Power Engineering, Jiangsu University, No. 301 Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013, China
2National Research Center of Pumps, Jiangsu University, No. 301 Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013, China
3ALTA S.p.A., 5 via della Gherardesca, Ospedaletto, 56121 Pisa, Italy
4Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, 8 Via Gerolamo Caruso, 56122 Pisa, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Yanxia Fu; nc.ude.sju@ufaixnay

Received 7 October 2016; Revised 8 December 2016; Accepted 5 February 2017; Published 8 March 2017

Academic Editor: Zuohua Huang

Copyright © 2017 Yanxia Fu 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.


The influence of the tip clearance on the internal flow and hydraulic performances of a 3-bladed inducer, designed at ALTA, Pisa, Italy, are investigated both experimentally and numerically. Two inducer configurations with different blade tip clearances, one about equal to the nominal value and the other 2.5 times larger, are considered to analyze tip leakage effects. The 3D numerical model developed in ANSYS CFX to simulate the flow through the inducer with 2 different clearances under different operating conditions is illustrated. The internal flow fields and hydraulic performance predicted by the CFD model under different operating conditions are compared with the corresponding experimental data obtained from the inducer tests. As expected, both experimental and numerical results indicate that higher pressure rise and hydraulic efficiency are obtained from the inducer configuration with the nominal tip clearance.