The Effects of the Back Clearance Size and the Balance Holes on the Back Clearance Flow of the Centrifugal Pump with Semi-Open Impeller
Conventionally the size of the back clearance played a great importance on reducing the axial clearance by utilizing the concept that the decreased axial clearance results in lower axial force acting on the impeller. However, from the previous works on the effect of the back clearance on the hydrodynamic forces upon the semi-open impeller showed the opposite trend: increasing the back clearance results in the reduced axial loading. In this work, the CFD simulation of an entire pump and detailed analysis on the back clearance flow are performed. By utilizing the commercially available software, meshing and CFD simulations are performed. LDA data, unsteady pressure data, and pressure distributions on the housing are used to validate the CFD model. The flow field prediction of the back clearance flow is then compared with other researcher?s works of the gap flow analysis between the rotating and stationary disks. The flow field inside the impeller passage, which is very sensitive to the back clearance size, is also studied. The empirical equation for the leakage loss through the balance holes is produced using the CFD predictions.