Table of Contents
ISRN Mechanical Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 479594, 14 pages
Research Article

Numerical Study on Pressure Fluctuations Reduction in Centrifugal Pumps: Influence of Radial Gap and Splitter Blades

DynFluid Laboratory, Arts et Metiers ParisTech, 151, Boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France

Received 29 May 2011; Accepted 29 June 2011

Academic Editors: F. M. Gerner and S. C. M. Yu

Copyright © 2011 Moisés Solis 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.


Numerical study was carried out in four centrifugal pumps to analyze the effects of adding splitters and incrementing the radial gap in order to decrease the pressure fluctuations at the blade passage frequency. It is well known that in this kind of pump, the interactions between the flow leaving the impeller and entering the volute generate fluctuating pressures which propagate toward the inlet and the discharge of the pump. These pulsations are mainly associated to the blade passage frequency presenting high amplitudes near the volute tongue and at impeller discharge. Four configurations were analyzed using numerical simulations; the first is the reference pump which will be optimized and the others are the optimized ones. The numerical modelling was performed at the same flow rate having to vary in some cases the rotational speed to reach the operating point. During the calculations, the pressure signals were recorded by virtual sensors placed at several locations of the pump then they were analyzed and processed by means of the Fast Fourier Transform. The pressure fluctuations were plotted and compared between the four configurations, showing clearly the fact of varying the blades number and the radial gap influence significantly on their reduction.