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874

THE PERFORMANCE OF AN AXIAL-FLOW PUMP


By E. A. Spencer, B.Sc. (Eng.), Ph.D. (Associate Member)*
Tests were made on an 11-inch diameter axial-flow propeller pump with impeller and
guide blades designed for free vortex conditions, using as a basis the modified aerofoil
theory. The best overall efficiency obtained was 82 per cent. Apart from head-flow and
efficiency characteristics, measurements were made of velocities and yaw angles within
the pump at the design flow of 6 cusecs. and these showed where departures from the
theoretical assumptions occurred.
Head-flow characteristics were obtained for various impeller blade-tip clearances from
0.015 to 0.060 inch (0.6 to 2.4 per cent blade height) and it was deduced that secondary
flows were not confined to the tip region alone, but extended across the whole annulus.
The pump was on an open circuit, so that cavita+on tests were limited. Nevertheless,
methods of increasing the resistance to cavitation susceptibility are considered.
I t was concluded that despite the fact that some of the assumptions made in the theory
are invalid, this method of design may be used with confidence for pumps in the specific
speed range of approximately 8,000.

INTRODUCTION

THEAXIAL-FLOW

has a range of applications, where large quantities of water are to be pumped


against low heads. Examples are in drainage, de-watering
docks, circulating cooling water in power stations and for
sewage disposal. In the past thirty years, there have been
considerable developments in their design and construction.
These pumps are now manufactured in a wide range of
sizes, usually between 4 and 72 inches diameter, and specific
speeds, ranging from 6,000 to 15,000.
The tendency in the early days was to follow centrifugal pump design methods and base the blading design on
velocity mangles, obtained from the simple Euler theory.
Empirical modifications were used to take into account the
deviations from the theory found in practice. For instance,
the theory gives no indication of the length, or number,
or shape of the blades between inlet and outlet fluid
directions.
Numachi (1929)t applied aerofoil theory to the design of
propeller pumps, using modifications of the general aerodynamic theory which had been developed considerably
earlier by others. It was assumed that the actual blade was
replaced by a series of aerofoil sections, each layer being
independent from those adjacent. An aerofoil of any
arbitrary shape will experience a VXng force when suitably
placed in a velocity field, and if this force can be predicted,
PROPELLER PUMP

The M S . of this paper was first received at the Institution on 10th


October 1955. For a report of the meeting, in London, at which
this paper was presented, see p . 908.
* Senior Scientific Oficer, Fluid Mechanics Division, Mechanical
Engineering Research Laboratov, East Kilbride.
t A n alphabetzcal list of references is grven in Appendix II.

then the pressure developed by the blade element can be


calculated. With the steady accumulation of data on aerofoil
characteristics, ofien including the effect of Reynolds
number, the use of this method of pump design became
increasingly practical. OBrien and Folsom (1939) give
details of the method and apply it to the design of a pump
for a specific duty.
The impeller blades impart a rotational spin, or whirl, to
the fluid. Since the ratio of whirl velocity head/total head
developed by the pump is relatively high, it is of major
importance that this energy be regained and utilized. T o do
this a stationary blade system must also be employed and
the same difficultiesapply if the simple Euler theory is used.
In a de Laval pump (Anon 1933) outlet guide blades were
used, but these were merely axial-deflectingplates before the
discharge bend and recovery of pressure head must have
been small.
Stationary blade rows may be either upstream or downstream of the impeller. In the former case, the fluid is given
an initial whirl in the opposite direction to the rotation of
the impeller and this is removed when the fluid passes
through the impeller. In the latter case, the outlet guide
blades straighten the flow after it leaves the impeller.
Numachi (1929) showed that for the same rotational speed,
head and flow, inlet guiding was basically less efficient than
the use of straighteners. More recently Marples (1954) concluded from experiments on a fan with upstream blades,
that the angle setting of the guides was more critical and the
efficiency curve was very peaked.
Patterson (1944) describes the use of axially symmetrical
straighteners for ducted fans which, for small whirls, act

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THE PERFORMANCE OF AN AXIAL-FLOW PUMP

independently of the amount of rotation behind the fan. In


general, however, the straightener blade row will only
produce maximum recovery at the design conditions. Away
from those conditions, there will be entry losses and usually
underguiding.
In the experiments now described, a set of inlet guide
blades was used in conjunction with the straightener row
after the impeller. These inlet blades were thin symmetrical
aerofoil sections, mounted axially to ensure good entry conditions to the impeller. The flow direction upstream of the
impeller was axial and the whirl produced by the impeller
was removed in the downstream blade row.

Notation
a
Mean axial velocity of fluid through pump annulus.
Chord length of blade element at radius r.
C
Cavitation number.
ck
Aerofoil
section lift coefficient.
CL.
Gravitational
acceleration.
g
H Head developed by pump.
N Number of blades.
P Static pressure in undisturbed stream ahead of
impeller.
Maximum suction pressure on blade surface.
P I
POP Water vapour pressure.
Radius.
r
Blade spacing at radius I(= 2nrlnr>.
S
U Tip speed of impeller blades.
Relative fluid velocity across blades at radius r.
v,
W
Fluid whirl velocity component after impeller at
radius r.
B Blade angle between chord line and rotational direction
at radius r.
Ratio of lift/drag coefficients on aerofoil section.
Y
4 Flow coefficient (= a/U).
Head coefficient (= 2gH/U2).
1 cusec. = 374 gal. per min.

EXPERIMENTAL APPARATUS

The blades were tested in a self-contained open circuit


with a flow path of about 40 feet (Fig. 17). Water was
pumped from an open cylindrical tank of approximately
250 gallons capacity and discharged through a control valve
and 11-inch diameter piping. The return pipe to the tank
was always run drowned to prevent air bubbles being
carried into the circuit. Power was supplied to the pump
from a 25-h.p. electric dynamometer, having a speed range
from 1,050 to 1,400 r.p.m.
Details of the pump are shown in Figs. 18 and 19.
The upper-half casing could be removed to provide access
to the blading. The impeller and guide blades were enclosed
in t inch liners, machined to 11-inch internal diameter.
Clearances between the propeller blade tips and the liner
were measured with feeler gauges. The blades, made from
free-cuttingbrass, were copy machined from a master and
hand finished to templates. The profile was finished to a
tolerance of 0.005 inch.

Fig. 17. Axial-flow Pump Test Circuit


T o obtain good entry conditions to the pump unit, the
intake from the tank was screened and a 15-deg. contraction
installed before the straight length into the pump. Fig. 19
shows the transition to the 6-inch hub diameter and the
position of the inlet guide blades.
INSTRUMENTATION

The shaft speed was measured with a tachometer. The


torque output from the driving motor, which was mounted
on trunnions, was measured with brake weights, on a lever
arm of 1 ft. 9 in., and read to 2 02.
The overall pressure rise was taken between tappings on
the suction side 8 inches upstream from the pump, and on
the discharge side 18 inches downstream from the
straightener blades. Differential pressure readings were
observed on a mercury manometer which could be read to
0.02 inch.
The flow was measured with two +-inch diameter Pitot
tubes of a N.P.L.-type, installed in the upper pipeline
8 diameters from the bend. Turning vanes were welded in
the two vertical bends and two he-mesh screens were
mounted at the beginning of the straight length to obtain

Fig. 18. Experimental Axial-flow Pump

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E. A. SPENCER

876

\ \ /

///

Fig. 19. Plan View of Experimental Pump


a uniform velocity dismibution. The distribution was
measured on two diameters at right angles and correlated
with the Pitot tube readings at the three-quarter radius
points. The values of integrated flow agreed within 1 per
cent with that from an orifice plate. The three-quarter radius
readings were used normally to determine the flow, check
calibrationsbeing carried out occasionally.
Apart from the measurements described above, flow conditions within the pump were determined at three stations.
Two of these were immediately upstream and downstream
from the impeller and the third was 10 inches past the
straightener blades. Flow angles were found with a small
claw-type yaw meter and stream velocities with a swannecked Pitot tube. The accuracy was about f l deg. on
angle and about 1 per cent on velocity.
BLADING D E S I G N

In applying the aerodynamic theory, various simplifying


assumptions have been made. The mutual independence
of blade layers has been mentioned, and for free-vortexblading constant efficiency and constant head are assumed
for all sections. This is to preserve radial-pressure equilibrium. The theory is a combination of momentum actuator
disk theory and blade element theory. A number of authors,
von Mises (1945), Keller and others (1937), and Numachi
(1929),have described these in detail. Both Patterson (1944)
and OBrien and Folsom (1939) give applications to the
design of fans and pumps. These references were used as
the basis for the deign of a set of propeller and straightener
blades for the present investigation.
The hub and tip diameters for the experimental pump
were fixed at 6 and 11 inches, giving a hub/tip ratio of 0-56.
At the design flow of 6 cusec., based on the mean axial
velocity in the annulus in front of the impeller, the calculated

head was 16 feet. With a speed of 1,300 r.p.m., the specific


speed of the pump was therefore 7,700. The impeller tip
speed was 62.4 feet per second. The number of blades was
chosen as 4 to give reasonable chord lengths.
Calculations were made to determine blade angle and
chord length at +inch intervals across the 25inch blade.
Between these successive radii the blade was smoothly
graded so that there were no abrupt changes in geometry.
Calculated blade efficiency at design flow varied between
93 and 97 per cent from tip to hub. This resulted since the
lift coefficientchosen for the tip was smaller than at the hub
and, consequently, the dragllift ratio, on which the blade
efficiency mainly depends, was greater.
The aerofoil section used was the Royal Air Force
R.A.F. 6, Section E, tested by Williams, Brown, and
Smyth (1937)at various Reynolds numbers. It exhibited
good performance characteristics and the flat undersurface
eased manufacture. Fig. 20 shows a frontal view of the
impeller abd sections through the blade. The projected
blade area was 71.5 per cent. Further details are given in
Tables 3 and 4.
The straightener blades, six in number, were designed
with constant chord length. A thinner section, National
Table 3. Details of Propeller Blades
Aerofoil

4.25
4.75
5-25

R.A.F.
R.A.F.
R.A.F.
R.A.F.
R.A.F.

6E
6E
6E
6E
6E

1 Chord, inches

1
11

;:25-12

5.22
5.29

Blade angle,
deg.
28.7
23.5
19.6
16.6
14.3

The blade angle is measured from the rotational diredon.

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THE PERFORMANCE OF AN AXIAL-PLOW PUMP

a77

Advisory Council for Aeronautics (N.A.C.A.) 6306, tested


by Jacobs, Ward, and Pinkerton (1933), was chosen for
these blades.

Two parameters widely used in presenting performance


curves are the non-dimensional head and flow coefficients:

Table 4 . Details of Straightener Blades

These coefficients make it possible to compare the characteristics of fans and pumps on the same dimensionless basis.
Scales of equivalent head and flow at 1,300 r.p.m. are given
in the graphs.

Radius, inches

3.25

3.75
4.25

4.75
5.25

Aerofoil

N.A.C.A.
N.A.C.A.
N.A.C.A.
(N.A.C.A.
N.A.C.A.

6306
6306
6306
6306
63061

Chord, inches

Blade angle,
deg.

5.00

66.4
71.0
74.3
79.1
77.0

EXPERIMENTAL R E S U L T S

Tests were run over the dynamometer speed range from


1,050 to 1,350 r.p.m. with the blades mounted in their
design setting and with a tip clearance of 0.015 inch. It was
not possible, however, to detect any Reynolds number
effects and, thereafter, tests were normally made at a speed
of about 1,300 r.p.m.

SECTION AA

SECTION

Overall Pump Performance


A typical performance curve for the pump is given in Fig. 21.
The efficiency plotted is the gross efficiency which includes
mechanical friction losses as well as hydraulic losses. The
loss in the gland packing where the shaft entered the pump
was measured with the pump running in air, without blades.
An average of 0.7 h.p. was absorbed at 1,300 r.p.m.; this
varied, depending on the tightness of the tallowed hemp
packing, By subtracting this from the brake horsepower, it
may be deduced that the hydraulic efficiency at the best
point was about 86 per cent, and the loss incurred in the
straightener and the passages through the pump was about
8 per cent. This would be improved with less rapid diffusion.
At the duty flow of 6 cusecs., overall efficiency was just
over 79 per cent, 1+ per cent below the maximum. This was
not unexpected since the blade sections were not designed
to work at the best possible liftldrag ratios. The ratios of

BB

0.10
0.15
0.20
FLOW COEFFICIENT, 4

0.05

0.25
,

0'10
,

FLOW AT 1.300 R.P.PI.-CUSEC.

Fig.20. Experimental Impeller Blades

Fig. 21. Perfmame Characterktics of Pump

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E. A. SPENCER

878

head and brake horsepower at zero and normal flow were


2.22 and 1-67, values which are within the ranges given by
Stepanoff (1948).
At flows below 4 cusec. there was violent hammering in
the pump caused by the blades cavitating.
Attempts have been made to estimate the semi-theoretical
head-flow curves of propeller pumps. Stepanoff (1948) gives
a universal diagram from which such a curve can be predicted, based on the Euler head and the angle made by the
mean line of the blade at the trailing edge. Empirical factors
are, however, introduced. Pattantyus (1949) suggests that
the zero lift angle of the blade section should be used to
estimate the maximum flow, Fig. 22. Since it is assumed
that the blade, as a whole, reacts similarly to the section at
the mean radius, it is doubtfid if these methods can give
more than a very rough guide to the behaviour of an
individual pump.
The anticipated performance of each individual blade
section can be obtained by a reiterative method similar to
that used in the original design. Fig. 22 shows the type of

Flow Conditions Inside the Pump


Measurements were made at the three stations inside the
pump for the duty flow of 6 cusec. A traverse to determine
the yaw angle downstream from the straightener blades, at
their design setting (Fig. 23), showed that there was a
deviation from the axial direction of over +20 deg. The
angle, measured from the axial direction, was counted
positive if the flow inclined towards the direction of rotation
of the runner. This represented a residual whirl velocity

-20

'

I
2

I
I
3
4
RADIUS-INCHES

I
5

I
6

Fig. 23. Yaw Angle fisfribation Past Straightener Blades


setting.
---- Design
-4 deg.

Fig. 22. Theoretical Performunce Curves


on Pattantyus.
---- Based
Based on aerofoil theory for hub and tip of impeller
blade.

result obtained. It is, however, certain that at flows away


from. the normal, the free-vortex pattern does not persist
and with radial flows the axial-velocity distribution does not
remain constant. The overall performance cannot then be
deduced with any accuracy. Within about 10 per cent from
the design point, however, averaging the individual curves
enables a fairly accurate prediction to be made.
At very low flows near the shut-off point, the fluid will
tend to rotate as a forced vortex, but there will be recirculation and back flow at the hub, Kit0 (1936).
The inflexion on the curve of the hub section occurs when
the aerofoil section reaches stalling conditions. Separation
appears and blade losses will increase rapidly. Although the
blade Reynolds numbers at design flow were above 1x 106,
the inflexion occurs at considerably lower flows, and the
behaviour of most aerofoil sections has not been determined
for Reynolds numbers less than 5 x 105. In general, it may
be said that stalling occurs at lower angles of attack as the
Reynolds number is reduced. Since the pump cavitated
before this dip in the head-flow curve, theoretical analysis is
impossible on existing knowledge.

head of about 0-2 foot. When the blade setting was changed
by -4 deg., thus increasing the angle of attack, the flow
direction was almost axial. There was a slight improvement
on the head-flow curve and on efficiency (82 per cent maximum), so that, thereafter, the blades were left at this new
setting.
No pre-rotation was found in front of the impeller, the
angle variation across the annulus being less than 1 deg.
When the local velocities, illustrated in Fig. 24, were
integrated, the quantity determined agreed within 2 per cent
of that measured in the upper pipeline by the standard
Pitot tubes. The mean annular axial velocity was increased
by the restriction of the inlet guide blades. There was a
marked boundary-layer at the casing wall and Scoles and
Patterson (1945) have suggested that such a configuration
should be taken into consideration when designing blade
systems. It is probable that a slight improvement would be
obtained if the boundary-layer could be predicted correctly
and due allowance made in the pump design.
In passing through the impellerthe axial-velocitydismbution was further distorted. The reduction in velocity at the
tip may be attributed to the secondary flows in the clearance
between the blade tips and the casing. The yaw angles at
both hub and tip were much higher than anticipated,
though the actual velocities were reasonably close to the
design over most of the annulus.
The lift coefficients on the blade surface can be compared
with the predicted values, since

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am

THE PERFORMANCE OF AN AXIAL-FLOW PUMP

1-

-n--X----xl--~

ma.

<%

10

3.0

3.5

I
I
I
I

This can be obtained from O'Brien and Folsom's report


(1939) by rearrangement of equation (21) in that report. It
was assumed that the design drag was realized in practice,
y in any case being large. Fig. 25a shows that the experimental results are fairly close to the design
This
justiiies neglecting cascade interference for spacingfchord
ratios greater than 1.0, despite the fact that the cascade
factor, as determined by Weinig (1935), varied between 1-0
and 1.33 for the hub and tip sections in this design.
A similar analysis was made for the straightener blades.
In Fig. 256 the two cases are shown for the blades at the
0-deg. and -4-deg. settings. There was considerable
discrepancy between design and experimental figures. One
factor was that measurements after the blades were at
some distance downstream and diffuser losses had occurred.
Secondly, the original data used in the design were for a
Reynolds number of 3 x 106 whereas in the pump the
Reynolds number was 5 x 105. Although the Weinig correction factor did reduce the lift coefficients in the original
design by the right order, (Fig. 256),it did not allow for the
improvement when the angle of attack of the blades was
increased. However, it is advisable that cascade interference
should be considered when designing the stationary blade
row, as the number of blades is usually high.
Knowledge of the axial-velocity components allows an
estimate to be made of the streamlines through the pump,

4-0
4.5
RADIUS-INCHES

XI
I
I
I

5.5

5.0

F*. 24. Measured Velociu Distributions at Inlet and


Outlet from Impeller for Design Conditions
Design values.
---O----} Measured values.
1.2

0
0.4

3.0

3.5

4.0
4.5
RADIUS-INCHES

5.0

5.5

--

(a) Propeller blades.

__--

Measured.

Fig.26. Flow Streams Throtgh Pump Estimated from


Veiocity Traverses

Fig. 26. It can be concluded that there were no pronounced


radial flows at the normal discharge rate and that improved
design of the outlet fairing is possible.

4.5

5.0.

DJUS-JNCHES

(b) Straightener blades.


Design.
Weinig correction.
-0 Measured 0 deg.
- x - - Measured
4 deg.

-----

--

Fig.25. Design and Measured Lz;ft Co@ents

5.5

Effect of Number of Blades


Schmidt (1928) and Schlimbach (1935) carried out tests on
the effect of varying the number of blades. Schmidt found
that with a given chord/spacing ratio, maximum efficiency
was reached with the minimum number of blades, and that
the best projected area ratio was about 60 per cent.
Schlimbach found that the maximum flow rate was the
same irrespective of the number of blades (2, 3, 4, and 5
blades). The head-flow curve was raised with increasing
blade number, but the progression was not linear.
In the present investigation tests were made with 2, 3,
and 4 blades in the impeller, all at the design setting. From
the results shown in Fig. 27a and b it would appear that

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E. A. SPENCER

880

maximum flow at zero head would be common although

this point could not be confirmed without a booster pump


in the circuit. The best efiiaency point with the two-bladed
runner was about 4 per cent less than that for the other two
tests. Schmidt shows an efEciency drop of this order between
the projected area ratios of 35.8 and 71.5 per cent, the ratios
for the 2 and 4 blades here.
When the modified aerofoil theory was applied to the

I
I

Impeller Blade Tip Clearance


The effect of changes of clearance between the impeller
blades and the casing was studied by systematically increasing the clearance. The blades were not removed from the
impeller boss during these tests, the whole assembly being
machined as one unit. The previous tests had been made
with a clearance of 0.015 inch, or 0.6per cent of the blade
height. Successive tests were now carried out with intervals
of approximately 0.006 inch. At 0.060 inch (2.4 per cent)
the effects on performance were very marked and the tests
were discontinued as limits of practical usage had been
reached.

I
I

0.12

0.16

0.20
0.24
FLOW COEFFICIENT.. d
.
I

04

0.15

0.20

0.25

.\

FLOW COEFFICIENT, I$

4
5
6
7
6
FLOW-CUSECAT 1.300 R.P.M.

0.30

0.35

Fig. 270 and b. Performance Curves for Two, Three, and


Four-bladed Impeller

---- Two blades.


------- Three blades.
Four blades.

5
6
7
FLOW AT 1.300 R.P.M.-CUSEC.

Fk. 28. Characteristic of Pump with Increasing Impeller


Blade Tip Clearance

---_

--------------------

Tip clearance, 0.015 inch.


Tip clearance, 0.022 inch.
Tip clearance, 0.028 inch.
Tip clearance, 0.034 inch.
Tip clearance, 0.039 inch.
Tip clearance, 0.043 inch.
Tip clearance, 0.052 inch.
Tip clearance, 0.060 inch.

Shaded area shows zone of cavitation.

Shaded area shows zone of cavitation.

prediction of the head developed at design flow for the


reduced number of blades, the velocity mangles were found
to alter r a d i d y from the four-bladed design. The head
distribution across the blades was no longer constant, and
for two blades integration gave a value below that found
experimentally. For three blades, agreement was within a
few per cent. The use of the aerofoil theory, therefore,
though limited, does give a rough approximation to the
facts. This is an advantage when compared to the Euler
theory which cannot give any indication of the effect of
blade number.
With reduced numbers of blades, audible cavitation
occurred at flows nearer the design point. This may be
expected since the blades will be additionally loaded. If
cavitation is feared in an installation, the number of blades
should be increased, although possibly this may mean some
sacrifice in efficiency.

The related series of tests are plotted in Fig. 28. The


effect on the head-flow curves was more marked at low
flows than at flows above the normal. This change must be
caused by the leakage flow across the blade tips although
secondary effects are discussed later. This leakage flow
depends upon the pressure Werence between the two sides
of the blade, and will be smaller at the higher discharge
rates where the pressure developed in the pump is less. The
1.8 per cent increase in clearance resulted in a drop in head
of 15 per cent at the design flow.
The efficiency also decreased with increasing clearance,
Fig. 29. The initial improvement in efficiency may have
been a spurious effect from mechanical friction losses, and
further tests would be needed to confirm that an optimum
best efEciency exists for a non-zero clearance.
The characteristiccurve of a pump was discussed earlier
in relation to the aerofoil characteristics of the blade

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THE PERFORMANCE OF AN AXIAL-FLOW PUMP

I
I

F&. 29. Effect of Impeller Tip Clearance at Desip Flow


The tip cIearance is shown as a percentage of the blade height.

elements. Theoretically a dip in the head-flow curve would


be expected when the blades were stalled. This idlexion is
found to a varying degree in all the published curves of
propeller pumps. The present tests suggest that there may
be a relation between the amount of the dip and the tip
clearance.
The yaw angle of the flow after the impeller was measured
for each clearance, only the extreme values being shown in
Fig.30. The change was, however, progressive throughout

3.0

3.5

4.0
4.5
RADIUS-INCHES

5.0

Cavitation Performance
Propeller pumps are more susceptible to cavitation than
centrifugal pumps, and the improvement of this feature
presents one of the main problems of design. The low
pressures result from a combination of the static pressure
level and high velocities.
The flow coefficient, #, is usually between 0.15 and 0.4
for axial-flow pumps. The use of higher values, up to 1.0,
will, according to Patterson (1944), improve efficiency.
Above 1.0 the maximum possible blade efficiency slowly
decreases again. Higher values of # may be achieved either
by lowering the speed or by increasing the axial velocity.
The latter heightens the risk of cavitation while the former,
beneficial for cavitation, will require a larger driving unit
for the same output, with higher all round costs. The balance
between all the considerations is a delicate one.
A non-dimensional parameter, C,, is used to express the
local conditions in terms of the undisturbed stream.

Ch$=-

xTip clearance, 0.015 inch.


--o -- Tip clearance, 0.060 inch.
the series. Pivoting about a point near the centre of the
blade, the fluid angle increased over the outer half, and
decreased over the inner half for increasing clearance,
instead of a reduced axial-velocity component being confined to a limited area adjacent to the tip; this means that
the whole annulus was affected by the clearance flow.
Impeller and straightener blades were thus working under
conditions increasingly removed from the uniformity
necessary for free-vortex flow.
Finally, it was noticed that at higher clearances, audible
cavitation occurred at flows nearer to the design flow. It is
likely that with the change in flow co-ation
the blades
were more highly loaded at the outer radii although at the
tip itself the lift coefficient would be reduced.

P-P

. . . .

(8)

2g
It is assumed that the inception of cavitation occurs when
at some point the pressure equals the water vapour pressure,
pq. The undisturbed stream static pressure can be determmed fairly accurately. The positive submergence in the
present experiments was 3 feet at the pump centre-line. The
staticpressure just upstream from the impeller at the highest
tip position, which also takes account of upstream friction
losses and the velocity head, was 31.6 feet above water
vapour pressure.
An aerofoil usually has a fairly high suction pressure on
the upper surface at normal angles of attack, and the peak
of the pressure distribution moves towards the leading edge
as the angle is increased. Meiderer (1949) and others give
as a general guide

.g . . .

or2
PI = 0*7CL -

5.5

F&. 30. Variation of Yaw Angle after Impeller Blades


with Increasing Tip Clearatue at Design Flow

88 1

(9)

where p, is the maximum pressure drop on the blade surface. This is measured below the average pressure over the
section.
OBrien and Folsom (1939) found, by analysing aerofoil
pressure-distribution data, that normal sections fall within
the band drawn in Fig. 31a. Very little information is
available, however, on actual cavitation tests on hydrofoils.
Daily (1949) tested a National Advisory Council for Aeronautics (N.A.C.A.) 4412 section and, more recently,
Numachi and Murai (1952) made a study of hydrofoils in
cascade, the spacing/chord ratio being 1-24. Tests on a
Clark Y section 8 per cent thick which has a similar
geometry to the Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) 6E, although
thinner, gave results very close to the Pfleiderer equation
for 0-2<CL<0.6.
Equation (9) indicates that if a pump is cavitation free at
the design point then, as the discharge, and thus the relative
velocities, increase, the local pressure drop will also increase
until the blade starts cavitating. Normally this will occur at

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E. A SPENCER

882

conditions give a point above this line there w i l l be an area


on the blade surface below the water vapour pressure.
The experimentally determined values of lift and velocity
are plotted at the duty flow of 6 cusecs. The blade tip is seen
to be already in a pressure region where cavitation is

I
0

0.4

04
LIFT COEFFICIENT, CL

1.1

1.6

F3. 31a. Cavitation P d m a n c e of Free Aerofods

---- Pfleiderer (p, = 0.7G.")g .


and Folsom.
---tf-t
-- -- - - O'Brien
Daily (experiments on N.A.C.A. 4412).
tbe blade tip since the relative velocities are highest there,
and these are squared in the expression.When the discharge
is reduced, the angle of attack between the fluid velocity
vector and the blade will increase. The lift coefficient therefore increases and, fiom equation (9), the pressure drop
increases and cavitation again OCNS. In that case the
inception point need not necessarily be at the blade tip.
The available reserve pressure at entrance to the runnerblade tip was 31.6 feet and hence for this pump, from
equation (8),

z,

. .

31.6 = C, = function C,
(10)
v,
The proposed design valves of O'Brien and Folsom were
calculated using this equation. The Pfleiderer equation is
also plotted in Fig. 31b, using equation (9) and substituting
p, equal to 31.6 feet. It may be anticipated that when the
I

..

LIFT COEFFICIENT, CL

F3.31b. Comparison of Experimental Values at Normal


Flow with Free Aerofoil Data at Same Submergence

+ 5.25 inches radius.


Eypcrimentalvalues: { o 3-25 inches radius.
--- PBeidcrer.

O'Brien and Foleom-proposed design values.

expected, but is very close to the values proposed by O'Britn


and Folsom (1939) as design Criteria. The pump was tested
up to 120 per cent of the normal flow without audible
cavitation and down to nearly 70 per cent before cavitation
set in. Under these conditions the whole blade will have been
working in the region beyond the Pfleiderer m e .
Spannhake (1948) points out that in a pump the pressure
is increasing between inlet and outlet from the impeller.
The point of minimum pressure, therefore, is in a region
where the stream pressure is higher than that at the entrance.
This will delay the onset of cavitation at the higher flow
rates, but should not greatly affect the onset at reduced
flows where the angle of attack is increased.
It has been assumed that cavitation occurs as soon as the
water vapour pressure is reached anywhere. If, however, the
fluid passes through the low-pressure region in a very short
time interval, cavitation may be delayed until a larger proportion of the blade section is at the low pressure. Although
the onset of the cavitation zones marked in the figures was
quite sudden, nevertheless,reduced cavitation will probably
take place at flows nearer the design point. This is despite
the fact that the performance curves were apparentlystable.
Visual observation is essential for the study of incipient
cavitation. Numachi and Murai (1952) showed that vibration danger did not occur at normal angles of attack until
nearly the whole hydrofoil section was cavitating.
Warren (1953) has developed sections that are theoretically more resistant to cavitation than the normal aerofoil
sections. They differ from the low-drag acrofoils derived by
rhe N.A.C.A., mainly in having sharp leading edges which
result in flatter pressure dismbutions. Numachi and Murai
(1952) have tested similar sections under cavitating conditions. Whilst performance is good at the design setting,
some sacrifice in efficiency must be accepted at off-design
conditions.
The secondary flows associated with the blade-tip clearance may cause another form of cavitation phenomenon.
Vortices are shed from the blade tips which have low
pressures at the core and, if sufficientlystrong, these will
induce cavitation. Damage to the blade may be expected if
the bubbles impinge on the undersurface of the blade which
is at a higher pressure. Since the strength of the vortex may
be expected to change with clearance, the pattern of
cavitation performance would alter from this cause.
CONCLUSIONS
The performance of a small axial-flow propeller pump has
been examined and it has been shown that reasonable
efficiencies can be achieved using a design method based on
modified aerofoil theory and free-vortex conditions. Aerodynamic theory, moreover, assists in the analysis of conditions near the design point and allows rough predictions
to be made on how the pump will behave in altered

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THE PERFORMANCE ON AN AXIAL-FLOW PUMP

circumstances. This is despite the fact that some of the


assumptions of the theoretical approach have been proved
to be untenable in practice. It may be concluded that some
of the effects from such non-ideal conditions cancel each
OthlX.
It is apparent that efficiencies may be M e t improved
by the use of low-drag blade sections and by Carrying out
annular cascade tests where the effects of hub and casing
can be taken into consideration. The use of hydrofoil
sections specifically designed to haw flatter pressure
distributions will reduce the cavitation susceptibilityof this
type of pump. Whilst tests in idealized pumps, where the
analysis is confined to blading performance, are valuable,
the overall performance of the pump unit as a whole is of
major importance.This includes intake and diffuser design.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to


Professor Lloyd-Evans of University College, London,
under whose guidance this investigation was carried out and
to the swff of the Engineering Faculty for their assistance
in making and assembling the apparatus.
This report is published by permission of the Direaor,
Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory.

APPENDIX I1
REFERENCES

1933 Et&em~, VOL 135, NO. 3498, P. 99, De LaVal


Propeller Pump.
DAILY,J. W. 1949 Trans.A.S.MB., voL 71, No. 3, p. 269,
Cavitation Characteristics and Infinite-aspect-ratio Charecteristics of Hydrofoil Section.
JACOBS, E. N., WARD,fc B., and PINKERTON,
R. M. 1933
National Advisory Committee for Ammutics Technical
Report 460, The Characteristics of 78 Related Aerofoil
Sections from Tests in the VariableDensity Water Tunnel.
KELLER,C.,MARXS,L. S., and W a n , J. R 1937 The Theory
and Performance of Axial-flow Fans (McGtpw-Hill Publishing Co., New York and London).

ANON.

883

KIro, S. 1936 Tokyo Imperial University Eng. JI., vol. 20,


No. 12, p. 283, Experimental Study on a Propeller Pump.
MARPLESa J.

1954 Thesis, National College of Heating, Ventilating, Refrigerating and Fan Engineering, A Modified A p
proach to the Design of Low Pressure and Medium PreSpurr
Axial-flow Fans.
NUMACHI,
F. 1929 Tohoku University Technical Repom,
vol. 8, p. 411, Aerofoil Theory of Propeller Turbines and
Pumps.
NUMAW,F., and MURAI,H. 1952 A.S.M.E. Paper No. 52,
A-87, Tohoku University Reports of Inst. of High Speed
Mechanics, voL 2, Cavitation Tests on Hydrofoil Pro&
Suitable for Arrangement in Cascade (First Report).
R. G. 1939 VOL 4, NO. 1, p. !,
OBRIBN, Me P . y and FOLSOM,
The Design of Propeller Pumps and Fans (Publications m
Engineering. University of California).
PATTANNUSa G. 1949 Miiegyetemi KOzlemenyek, Budapest
No. 1, p. 51, Approximative Design of the Charactrristic
Curve of Mal-flow (Propeller) Pumps from the Velocity

Diagralll.
PATTERSON,G. N. 1944 Australian Council for hronaudcs,
Report ACA-7, Ducted Fans: Design for High Efficiency.
PPLBIDERW, C. 1949 p. 344, Die Kreiselpumpen f7ir Fluasigkeiten und Gase, third edition (Springer, Berlin).
SCHLIMBACH,
A. 1935 vol. 4, No. 2, p. 51, Mitt. aua dem
Forsch., G. H. H. Konzem, Der M.A.N.-Schrauberschaufler.
SCHMIDT,
H. F. 1928 Jl. Am. SOC. Naval Eng., voL 49, p. 1,
Some Screw Propeller Experiments with Particular Reference
to Pumps and Blowers.
SCOLBS,
J. F., and PATTERSON,
G. N. 1945 Australian Council
for Aeronautics, Report ACA-14, Wind Tunnel Tests on
Duaed Contra-rotating Fans.
SPANNHAKE,
W. 1948 David W. Taylor Model Basin, Navy
Dept., Miscellaneous Publications, Regular Series No. 621,
Analysis of Modem Propeller Pump Design.
STEPANOFF,
A. J. 1948 Centrifugal and Axial-flow Pumps,
Theory, Design, and Application (Wiley, New York;
Chapman and Hall>London).
vON MISS, R. 1945 Theory of Flight (McGraw-Hill Publishing
Co., New York and London).
WARREN,
C.H. E. 1953 A e r ~ ~ u t i cResearch
al
Council,Repons
and Memoranda, No. 2836, A Theoretical Approach to the
Design of Hydrofoils.
W ~ GF., 1935 Die Stromung um die Schaufeln von Turbomaschinen (Barth, Leipzig).
WILLIAMS,D. He, BROWN,A. F., and SMYTH, B. 1937 Anautical Research Council, Repom and Memoranda, No.
1771, Tests of Four Airscrew Sections in the Compressed
Air Tunnel.

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834

Discussion
Mr. H. ADDISON,
O.B.E., M.Sc. (Member), in opening the
discussion, said that, although the papers were both
valuable in themselves, comparison between the two s t i l l
further heightened their value, for there were such great
differences in apparatus and in results. In one set of experiments air had been used, and in the other, use had been
made of water. The rotors were of different shapes, as could
be seen by comparing Figs. 2 and 20. Outlet guide blades
had been provided for the water rotor, but not for the air
rotor. Then there was a contrast between a free vortex type
of distribution of velocities and a less formal type. Nevertheless, the findings had been said to apply equally well to
axial-flow fans and pumps with water or air.
That being so, he wondered whether the authors believed
that their tests proved that one of the rotors was in any
sense superior to the other. In brief, which was better in a
broad general sense, a rotor such as in Fig. 2 with narrow
blades and a small hub diameter, or the rotor in Fig. 20 with
a broad blade and a large hub diameter. The rotor used by
Dr. Hutton for air had been of a special kind that would
give certain stipulated characteristics, but nevertheless he
would be interested to hear whether that rotor in itself had
any superiority.
The experimental results did not appear to include any
direct observations of radial velocity components. In fact,
althoughDr. Huttons paper was specificallyconcerned with
three-dimensional motion, direct values of axial components only had been given. The tangential or whirl
components had to be inferred or conjectured, and there
appeared to be no measured values of radial components.
It might be that the radial components were found only
inside the rotating impeller, where they could not be
measured, but perhaps they might have been measured in
the adjacent field of flow, where measuring appliances could
be inserted. If such observationscould have been made, they
might have thrown light on the conditions prevailing at
very low flow rates.
From Fig. 3, showing the axial-f(ow distribution, it
could be seen that at a flow coefficient of 0.2the axial
velocity at the hub had already fallen to zero, so presumably
at still lower flow rates there would be a reversal of direction
there :back flow and recirculation would occur, as mentioned
on p. 878. He wondered whether the authors had actually
observed that secondary circulation, wbich would manifest
itself by an outward velocity component on the upstream
side of the rotor.
It was interesting to find from Fig. 23 that the pump was

so sensitive to the sening of the outlet guide blades. Apparently a change in blade setting of only 4 deg. increased
the pump efficiency by 2 per cent. He would therefore like

to ask whether any measurements had been made to assess


the efficiency of the guide-blade ring, which was regarded
as an energy converter :namely, what was the ratio between
the pressure rise in the diffuser and the energy corresponding to the whirl velocity at rotor exit.
According to Dr. Spencer, in the guide-blade apparatus
there was a reconversion amounting to 10, 20, or 30 per
cent, but he understood that that had been merely an
estimated value.
Then, if the guide-blades had been removed altogether,
the performance of the pump rotor might then have been
directly compared with that of the fan rotor shown in Fig. 2.
He thought it had been known that in centrifugal pumps the
performance of a rotor by itself was quite different to what
it was when there was a diffuser or a ring of guide-blades
surrounding the centrifugal pump impeller. He would ask
whether the same applied to axial-flow impellers.
On the question of tip clearance, the two papers seemed
to be wholly in agreement. Their findings, too, agreed with
what some pump manufacturers had discovered a number
of years earlier by actual full-scale experience. Some early
types of axial-flow pumps were disappointing because the
importance of close clearances between casing and blade tip
had not been fully realized; yet in the historical sense it was
interesting to know also that in some of the early types of
axial-flow pumps there was a continuous shroud, which
would help to reduce tip clearance. Doubtless the losses due
to friction of the rotating crown were excessive and so the
crown was cut away; and as was now known, there was no
continuous rim.
From Dr. Spencers explanation it appeared that increased tip clearance would have one possible countervailing advantage in getting a more predictable shape of
head-discharge curve. There would not be the hysteresis
loop as shown in Fig. 8, yet with the water pump, on p. 878,
there seemed to be no way of avoiding violent hammering at
low discharge rates.
The hysteresis question or the zone of instability in the
characteristic was awkward in practice, and he would like
to ask whether the authors could show any way by which
those disturbances could be eliminated.
An interestingpoint in comparing two papers by Werent
authors was to observe variations in terminology. For
example, there were three different terms to describe the

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

angle between the direction of the absolute velocity axid the


axial component: whirl angle, swirl angle, and yaw angle.
In addition, the outlet guide blades of the pump were sometimes spoken of as straightener blades.
Those who might choose another term were fortified by
noticing that the straightener blades did not always
straighten the flow. Fig. 23 showed an example of that, and
so perhaps guide blades might after all be a more acceptable
term.
It might be useful to have those divergencies of usage
exposed, because the question of terminology was now
under study by the British Standards Institution, whose
guidance might help to achieve more uniformity.
Mr. A. D. S. CARTER,
B.Sc. (Member),
said that he found
the papers fascinating because they dealt with the case of
rather widely pitched blades. He would approach the
problem from the aspect of the gas-turbine axial-compressor, with which the blades were more closely pitched.
In the impeller testing by Dr. Hutton, the diameter ratio
had been also slightly lower than would be used even in
aircraft compressors;and also, of course, the blade sections
were constant radially, whereas the axial-compressor blade
would have substantially different sections from root to tip.
That led to the question of the difference between these
two methods of approach. He wished that Dr. Hutton had
given the overall performance of his impeller, because it
was not clear from Fig. 11just what comparisons were being
made. He was not sure, for example, how far stalling of the
blades-particularly those long blades, with the constant
but twisted section-would affect the slope of the test curve.
There would be an appreciable change in blade efficiency
with flow coefficient, and that would be represented as a
change in slope of the pressure-rise curve.
He also wished that Dr. Hutton had produced the overall
pressure-rise and efficiency curves, because there were many
curves of that nature available. Almost anything could be
proved from looking at the detailed curves for different
radii. He did not necessarily disagree with the findings
of Dr. Hutton, but it would have helped in giving an
opportunity for more detailed calculations.
He himself had found similar effects-i.e. that the slope
of the test curve was much less than that of the calculated
one shown, for example, quite clearly in Fig. llb. In fact,
an analysis of his own made some years earlier of many
multi-stage axial-compressor results had led him to the
belief that there must be both an allowance-it might have
to be an empirical one-in the fluid angles from the blade,
and in addition a work-done factor, as they called it, or, in
the nomenclature of the papers, a slip factor. In other words,
he did not think that either of those methods taken individually would give the right answer. Both had to be
combined.
In regard to Fig. 13, he would like to ask the author
whether in using the method which he had developed he
had used the cascade outlet angles to get the axial velocity
from the radial equilibrium theory. He would like to know
whether he had used the outlet angles from cascade theory

885

and a constant total energy radially, or whether he had used


the measured rate of dismbution of total energy in doing
his calculations from whence he could apply the aerofoil
theory.
He was somewhat disturbed as to just how much tip
clearance effects were affected by stalling. As a rough and
ready rule, in orthodox multi-stage axial-compressors tip
clearances of up to about 2 per cent were assumed to have
practically no effect. That was largely in agreement with
the m e shown by Dr. Hutton, but not in agreement with
the curves shown by Dr. Spencer, which showed a rapid
fall-e.g. Fig. 29-41 efficiency for clearances of much more
than about 1-13 per cent. He was referring to the mean
value of the staging in a multi-stage compressor, and there
was a very significant increase in boundary layer through
the compressors, whereas in the single-stage tests there was
just the inlet boundary layer to be contended with.
In some tests they had made on a multi-stage axialcompressor in which they had been actually comparing tip
clearance and radial clearance, the conclusion arrived at
had been that, provided the blades were not stalling in the
region of the tip clearances, there was very little effect-for
instance, between clearance and shrouding; but if, on the
other hand, the blades were stalling in that region, there was
quite a marked difference between tip clearance and shrouding.
That led him to wonder just how much the results could
be generally adopted. It might account for some of the
difference between the two authors results. He considered
that care should be exercised in generalizing.
He would like to have seen a test on, perhaps, a twisted
blade-not free vortex-for comparison with the stalling
occurring at the other end of the blade.
He would like to know whether Dr. Hutton had weighed
the advantages between water and air as a medium for
carrying out those tests. They themselves had dealt in air,
but they had come to the conclusion that water would be a
much more convenient medium to use and were beginning
test work on it when they had heard that Dr. Hutton had
decided to use air.
Mr. S. P. HAWES,B.Sc. (Eng.), Wh.Sc. (Associate
Member), said that the two papers provided plenty of new
data for a study and reassessment of design methods. They
were particularly useful to manufacturers who usually had
little opportunity to carry out such detailed and fundamental
tests.
Considering, for example, one fundamental conceptionthat of radial equilibrium, which mathematically was given
by

$ = ,-sufficient
WZ

information was given in Figs. 6,

7, and 14 to check whether that occurred at station 2 on


the fan discharge at 4 = 0.3.
In actual fact, the calculated slope, based on w2/r, of the
pressure against radius curve was appreciably less than that
obtained by measurement and given in Fig. 7. He would be
interested to know the reason for that, especially in view of

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886

DISCUSSION

the fact that the station 2 traverse section had been chosen
because conditions had apparently stabilized and, moreover,
the integrated flow and aerodynamic torque agreed well
with the measured flow and dynamometer torque.
The effect shown of tip clearance on the distribution of
flow and work within the impeller was most interesting to a
designer. However, the curves showing the effect of varying
tip clearance on performance and efficiency were misleading
because it was suspected that the head and flow coefficients
had been based on the nominal uncropped diameter and not
on the actual impeller diameter.
Thus in Fig. 10, which gave the results for a 4 of 0.3 when
tip clearance effects were not very severe, most of the reduction in head shown would have occurred with constant tip
clearance simply by reduction of the impeller size. On the
other hand, had the results for a 4 of 0.2 been available, the
more severe tip clearance effects would probably have made
any indication of optimum efficiency disappear.
Finally, the suggestion of the lack of agreement with windtunnel data of the lift against incidence curves in Fig. 15
was due mainly to the difficulty in calculating the true
incidence for the operating impeller blade sections.

Mr. R. H. YOUNG,
B.Sc. (Eng.) (Manber),said that however much chance might have entered into it, it was indeed
fortunate that investigations had been made in parallel of
the behaviour of a fanand a pump having sufficientsimilarity
of blade profile and Reynolds number, and sufficient
divergence in hub ratio and blade form, to demonstrate at
the same time the close relationship between aerodynamics
and hydraulic engineering, and the widely Wering performance of two axial-flow impellers.
While a detailed comparison of the performance of the
two machines would take into account the differences in
hub ratio and solidity and the presence or absence of guide
vanes and hub fairings, it would appear reasonable to use
the recorded results for some direct comparisons between
impellers designed for free vortex whirl conditions and
those designed for a whirl distribution far removed from
the free vortex pattern.
It would seem that the design of the pump impeller used
by Dr. Spencer had been based on the assumption that at
all radii the deviation of the fluid leaving the blades was
zero or, alternatively, was small and constant. Fig. 30,
which recorded the yaw angle or whirl angle after the
impeller, showed that on test the whirl was far removed
from the fiee vortex pattern. For instance, the yaw angle
at 4.5 inches radius should, theoretically, be around 37 deg.,
while at 5.5 inches the angle should be 33 deg. 30 min.
approximately. Measured values of whirl velocity plotted
against radii would apparently give a similar concave curve
and would agree in general form with the measured lifl
coefficient curve (Fig. 25a).
Dr. Huttons investigations on the impeller which had
no claims to a free vortex design showed a strikingly similar
concavity between hub and tip in the whirl angle for
4 = 0.20 (Fig. 6). For the higher flow coefficient the
concavity was less marked but, even at 4 = 0.30,the ratio

of whirl velocity to axial velocity when plotted against


radius (Fig. 14) showed the same marked concavity.
Perhaps the most striking similarity was in regard to the
rapid rise in all cases in whirl angle and whirl velocity as
the blade tips were approached. He would like to ask the
authors whether they could throw some light on that
phenomenon, bearing in mind that those rises were not
accompanied by commensurate rises in measured pressure
development around the tips, as confinned by the curves in
Fig. 7. No doubt the boundary layer in the vicinity of the
duct walls might have some bearing on the matter, but it
would seem hardly feasible that that was the sole reason for
the non-linear whirl distribution in the case of the faired
medium hub-ratio impeller investigated by Dr. Spencer.
The results suggested that there might be some justification for a procedure sometimes adopted for medium hubratio fan designs, whereby the blade chords and blade angles
were calculated for hub and tip sections on the basis of free
vortex whirl distribution, and intermediate blade angles
and chords were developed from those. To take the most
simple case, a blade of most constant chord from hub to tip
would have blade angles at all radii in linear progression.
Compared with the impellers covered by the authors, the
procedure outlined would give increased blade angles at
intermediate radii and possibly a better velocity distribution. However, if the ideal condition of two-dimensional
flow was to be approached, it would be necessary to allow
for a greater deviation at the hub than at the tips where, for
an efficient design, the angle of incidence should be lower.
On the question of blade Reynolds number, there
appeared to be some disparity between the statements made
by the two authors in regard to the availability of aerofoil
data for Reynolds numbers less than 5 . 0 ~105. Wbile the
behaviour of RAF6 aerofoils at a Reynolds number as low
as 0.5x l@might have been estimated by Dr. Hutton, the
National College for Heating, Ventilating, Reftigeration
and Fan Engineering had taken tests in a two-dimensional
flow wind tunnel on RAF6 aerofoil of 14 per cent thickness
ratio at
= 2.0 x 105. There had been very little difference
as regards coefficient of lift or stalling angle compared with
published data for Reynolds numbers 1 to 2 x 106. The total
drag at zero incidence and at stall had appeared to be
d e c t e d by Reynolds number-r,
at least, the figures
obtained had agreed closely with the published data for the
higher Reynolds numbers-but, over the normal working
range of incidence, the increase m total drag with reduction
in Reynolds number had been marked. The experiments,
however, had been somewhat incomplete as the true
Reynolds number or Jacobs number had not been accurately
established.

Mr. J. B. SCIVIER,
B.Sc. (Eng.) ( M d e r ) , said that he
would like to confine his remarks to Dr. Spencers paper. In
particular, in regard to cavitation, Fig. 32 showed cavitation
over the blade tips of an axial-flow pump rotor. The rotor
in question had been 10 inches diameter, having four blades
set at a tip angle of 17 deg. The pump had been running at
a speed of 1,450 r.p.m. and it had been in a circuit with a

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A X I L P L O W IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

Venturi meter and open tank,to which the pump delivered


and from which it had taken its suction, with a positive
head on the suction of about 3 feet.
A perspex casing had been fitted to the pump so that
cavitation could be observed, and the rotor had been of the
variable-pitch type. Since the perspex casing had been of
cylindrical form, the rotor periphery had been machined
for the smallest blade angle available, which had been 8 deg.
Hence with the blades set at 17 deg. there had been an
increased clearance, particularly at the nose and tail end of
the blades. Photographs had been taken of each blade with
a high-speed camera and the flash synchronized with the
Shaft.

007

head, but that it was also collapsing and subsequently


reforming farther along the flow passage.
It would appear that with that particular rotor cavitation
was always present, although not necessarily audible. There
had been cavitation around the nose of the blade extending
from the tip to the hub on the low-pressure side. That
could be seen only with a mirror, and it had not been
possible to photograph it.
H e noted that the author had &ed out tests with a
bossltip ratio of 0.56, and he would like to ask him whether
any work had been carried out to analysethe effect of varying
that ratio.
It could be shown that

N,= 3 2 7 K J 1 2 z / K v m

. .

(11)
where K = U/z/H,K , = VlU, 7 was hubltip ratio, V was
mean axial velocity through the rotor, U was peripheral
velocity of the rotor, and H the generated head.

a 12.25 feet head.

Fig. 33. Chart fm Determination of Axial-floev Pump


Rotor Details

b 20.5 feet head.

Fig. 32. Leakage Cavitation

Fig. 32a showed the pump running at a speed of 1,450


r.p.m. and generating a head of 12-25 feet. That was just
beyond the best efficiency point of the pump, the head at
the best efficiency being approximately 15 feet. Cavitation
over the tip of the blade could be clearly seen at that
operating condition, and cavitation had increased with
increasing head until the condition shown in Fig. 32b had
been reached at a generated head of 20.5 feet.
Fig. 32b w a s particularly interesting as it showed that not
only had the cavitation increased considerably at the higher

Fig. 33 showed the variation of specific speed against


blade angle for various values of hub/tip ratio. That series
of curves had been obtained by taking a large number of
test results of axial-flow pumps having rotors ranging from
10 to 33 inches diameter, and values K and K , had been
found for various blade angles.
In preparing the diagram, it had been assumed that the
average values of K and 1;6 for the different blade angles
taken from test results were approximately correct, and the
values of K and K , were assumed to be independent of the
hub/tip ratio. All the pumps in question had had blades of
one family of air foils and, in addition, the hubltip ratio of
the pumps had varied between 0.41 minimum and 0.51
maximum.

The rest of the chart shown in Fig. 33 enabled the


various rotor details such as blade angle, hub/tip ratio, and

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888

DISCUSSION

diameter to be obtained quickly, together -with speed of


rotation, for any given duty.
As already stated, the chart had been produced by
averaging the results of a large number of tests, but it
should be regarded as only approximate and then true only
for the pamcular air foil in question. The chart did not
show the effect on efficiency of the interrelationship of
those various factors, particularly the hub/tip ratio.
The specific speeds for the various pumps tested,
calculated in accordance with equation (1l), were in close
agreement with the specific speeds obtained from the test
curves.
He would like to ask the author whether he had done any
work in connexion with the variation of the hub/tip ratio.

Mr. B. B. DALY,
B.Sc., A.M.I.E.E., said that as a fan
designer, he would comment on Dr. Huttons paper. He
was interested in the necessity of taking readings two blade
chords downstream in order to obtain freedom from radial
flow. He would like to ask the author whether that had been
two blade chords measured axially or measured along the
helical streamlines.
He had always wondered why compressor designers
placed their stator rows so very close to their rotor rows.
To have the leading edge of the following row constantly
impinging upon a succession of wakes and probably upsetting the flow instantaneously each time, seemed to be a
poor arrangement.
He had found that the placing of the stator vanes about

two chords axially downstream of the rotor blades quietened


the operation very much indeed, although he had been
unable to detect any improvement in efficiency.
Commenting upon the value of such a method as Dr.
Huttons of predicting performance when departing from
the simple free-vortex constant axial-flow regime, it was
most useful to escape from the tyranny of that very simple
theory, because it certainly gave useful improvements in
some of the characteristics-in particular, he had found, in
noise level and in sharpness of stall-because the tip of the
impeller was affected by both the tip gap and by the fact
that it was churning through a comparatively stationary
boundary layer, both of which made the flow anything but
what a reasonable theory would predict; to reduce the
amount of work done in the tip region of the blade and
increase that in the central region, and even in the hub
region, which was not as bad as the tip region so fax as
losses were concerned, was generally advantageous.
He wondered whether the author or others had tried, in
the region which was perhaps the outer fifthof blade height
which was so much affected by the tip, a really drastic local
reduction of the pitch angle of the impeller, so that the
extreme tip was more or less feathering through the
boundary layer instead of tryingto advance it. There would
be serious weaknesses in the blade geometry, for instance,
there would be inward facing sections of impeller, introducing radial components. That could perhaps be overcome by
having a very large number of very narrow wings, which
would mean that the twist was much less drastic when
approaching the tip.

Communications
M. G. DESMUR
(Paris) wrote, in regard to the paper by
Dr. Hutton, that the experiments described by the author
were of peculiar interest. Modem axial-flow fans had
recently been designed to be self-contained in cooling
towers, their tips frequently being of diameter 1, 2, 4, and
even 6 metres. An analysis of flow patterns inside and outside the wheel were consequently of great importance.
Fig. 34 showed that the meridional velocity was far from
being uniform at the impeller outlet and that it was not
located on concentric cylinders. These anomalies could be
elucidated.
Allowance should be made for the effects of friction at
the tip and hub diameters when designing aerofoils. The
relative velocity v was decreased to some extent, the velocity
triangles were altered, and experimental work had shown a
certain increase in the head generated near the periphery
and the hub. That phenomenon could be suppressed by
reducing the chord length of the blade at the tip and the hub.
In addition, to ensure radial pressure equilibrium, every
cylindrical section of the impeller should provide the same
work and should act simultaneously without producing

any secondary flow along the height of the blade. The


design of each aerofoil therefore should meet the following
conditions:
(1) The difference D2wz-DIwI must be of the same
value for all aerofoils. In other words, the difference in

Fig. 34. Noa-uniform Meridwnal Velocity at Impeller Outlet

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS A N D PUMPS

circulation between the inlet and the outlet must be a


Comtant.
The velocity triangles should be drawn correctly
(em, meridional velocity, being the actual velocity).
Angles f12 at the trailing edge should be calculated,
account being taken of the effect of the cascade.
It could be demonstrated ( K o v h and Desmur 1953)*
that requirement (1) was satisfied by
sin 6,

r = c
. z .c .err, f

889
DESIGN POINT

for any streamline

where 6, was taken as = 6


, +8, outlet angle of blade,
z was the number of blades, v,, the mean relative
velocity (Fig. 34), j
, the angle between the vector
of mean relative velocity and peripheral velocity,
5 - lift in cascade
s was themean
E - lift as free aerofoil = f f ,
blade pitch and c the chord length of blade.
(2) The local pressure of adjacent streamlines should
not produce a permanent deflexion of the meridional
Velocity. If it did, the velocity triangles would be altered.
The individual streamlines would no longer produce the
same head, and eddies would develop. The vectors by
which they were represented would assume the same
direction as v, with resulting energy losses.
(3) The lift coefficient of adjacent streamlines should
not be too different. In other words, the variation in lift
coeficient should be smoothly graded.
The former condition was self-explanatory. The two
latter requirements would be satisfied if the lines of constant energy were perpendicular to the meridional streamlines. A slight deflexion of the meridional velocity would
represent no drawback if compensated at the trailing edge.
Those conditions being satisfied, it was possible to obtain
a flow without deflexion of the meridional streamlines or
energy losses due to secondary eddies.
Experimental work he had carried out some years earlier
with an axial-flow fan designed to meet the foregoing
requirements had shown a constant meridional velocity
everywhere except near the tip and the hub. The total head
(account being taken of the deflected velocity) had represented exactly the same value all along the blade height,
except for the tip and the hub, its value being somewhat
lesser at the periphery and somewhat greater at the hub.
Clearance through the tip and hub friction accounted for
those differences.
It was not purposeless to note that the theoretical headflow curve never was a straight line from zero delivery to
zero theoretical head. It set out from 51, -- 2, but it was
always located under Eulers straight line. The only straight
portion of it was in the vicinity of the design point, and
that was most helpful in forecasting the head-flow curve
near the design point (Fig. 35).
In regard to the paper by Dr. Spencer he wrote that an
analysis of tests carried out within a research programme

Fig. 35. Head-Flow Curve

9).

de Kovdts, A., and Desmur, G. I953 Pompes, ventilateurs, compresseurs centrifuges et axiaw (Dunod, Paris).

was always valuable provided that boththe experimental


apparatus and the instrumentation were suited to such
purposes.
The design submitted of impeller and straightener blades
was judicious. In applying the aerodynamic theory, constant
efficiency and constant head had been assumed for all
sections of the blading. That preserved radial pressure
equilibrium, but it should be stated that the hydraulic
efficiency HIH, was not constant from the tip to the hub
(as stated in the paper). The velocity triangles therefore
were changed. In addition, there certainly had been an
increment in the mean axial velocity by the effect of the
blade thickness. It seemed to him that the allowance made
for frictional drag near the tip and the hub was not sufficient. Figs. 24 and 25a showed clearly that the increase
in C, corresponding to the increase of w near the tip and
the hub.
He considered that aerofoil R.A.F. 6E, although it
exhibited easier manufacture and good performance
characteristics, was not perfectly suited to avoid cavitation.
The R.A.F. 6E was a conventional aerofoil showing a
rapid increase of v, on its curved face, and he, basing his
remarks on a rather rough calculation, believed that the
inlet angle near the tip was about half of the theoretical
meridional inlet velocity
value corresponding to tgp1 =
U

It might, however, have been the designers intent to


secure a negative incidence at the tip.
The values of f12 at the trailing edge (18 deg. at tip and
36 deg. at hub), were consistent with the values calculated
by a more general rule, described by himself and his coauthor (Kovdts and Desmur 1953), = /?=+go, where the
angle assumed by the mean line (skeleton) at the trailing
edge to plane of rotation

was the angle formed by the vector of mean relative


velocity (Fig. 34) to peripheral velocity, c the chord length,
s the mean peripheral pitch of blades, z the number of
E
lift in cascade
blades, - = ratio
6
lift as free aerofoil
2

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aw

COMMUNICATIONS

p1 the angle formed by the inlet relative velocity and the


peripheral velocity, g'/f was not the Weinig factor. It had
been experimentally determined by himself and his coauthor through a great number of tests carried out with
various values of SIC and 81+&/2.
A prediction of the head-flow line of an axial-flow pump
based on the assumption that blades as a whole reacted
similarly to the section at the mean radius indeed gave
nothing but a very rough guide as to the behaviour of an
individual pump. For flow coefficients away from the
normal, the free vortex pattern certainly did not persist
and, with effects of back and radial flows, the overall performance could not be deduced with accuracy.
However, as the theoretical head variation against 4
was a fairly straight fine within 10 per cent from the design
point, it was possible to predict the head-flow curve near
that point, calculation being made by means of the mean
velocity triangle.
The change in the hydraulic efficiency was practically
zero near its maximum value. The intersection of both
tangents through the theoretical head-flow and the headflow lines at the design point therefore had to be on the
axis of 4. That remark gave a practical means to draw the
tangent to the +h against 4 curve (Fig. 35).
It should be pointed out that it would be a mistake to
deduce the hydraulic efficiency at points other than the
design point from the b.h.p. by subtracting the mechanical
losses.
The energy losses due to back flows must be subtracted
from the b.h.p. and, so far as he hew, that analysis was
not possible in the case of axial-flow pumps, whilst it was
feasible with a very reasonable accuracy for radial impellers
from zero delivery to zero head points.
As he had previously mentioned, allowance had to be
made for the effect of the boundary layer near the hub and
the casing wall. The radial motion of the boundary layer
on all sides of the blades apparently had little effect on
overall performance, whilst the fluid fiction produced a
decrease in the meridional velocity near the tip and the hub.
The aerofoil design had to be modified to avoid back flow,
for instance by diminishing the chord length.
The author had pointed out that the cascade effects had
not been taken into consideration for the impeller. That
procedure seemed to be justified, since the ratio ['/g varied
from 1.03at the tip to 1.02 near the hub. On the other hand,
the d e c t of f ' / [ upon the design of the straightener must
not be overlooked.
It seemed obvious that the best value ofp (efficiency) was
obtained when the blade surface was the minimum permissible with good performance.
It was possible to demonstrate(Koldts and Desmur 1953)
that the product of zc, ( z being the number of blades,
c the chord length), would assume the minimum value
when :

where 7 2 was the outlet circulation, 71 the inlet circulation,


6' the lift coefficient for free aerofoil, F/Cthe ratio lift in
cascadellift for free aerofoil, and orOD
the mean relative
velocity, above defined (Fig. 34).
The efects of changes in the clearance between the
impeller blades and the casing had shown that the importance of the clearancevalue for the head-flow and elKcienqflow curves. The optimum value of the clearance was about
1 llOOO of the outer diameter. The assumption that the
inception of cavitation occurred when at some point the
pressure equalled the water vapour pressure had been
sufficiently proved to be accurate through the experiments
carried out by T h o t (1934)* and Daily (1949)t.
The p , value of the maximum pressure drop on the
blade surface given by Pfleiderer and other authors:
p, = 0.7%. (w,2/2g) was useful as a general guide but had
the defect of concealing the mechanism of depression. In
fact, the maximum depression under the blade was the sum
of two terms, of which the former, dpl = (w2/2g), was to
be found just at the impeller eye, whereas the latter, dp2,
was due to the acceleration of v, along the streamline. It
had to be pointed out that any given aerofoil might give the
same c, value whether it was rounded or sharp-headed.
If v, was the relative velocity just before the leading edge,
at the top of the eye diameter, and KO, the maximum
relative velocity along the blade, the maximum pressure
drop due to the acceleration of v, was equal to

".2

_.

where k = k'2- 1.
It was found that the mean value of K was 0.2 (sharp
leading edge) or 0.3 (blunt leading edge).
Substituting 0-3, 0.4 for c, (tip) in Pfleiderer's e q d o n ,
it would be found that

Those values were consistent with experimental results.


Briefly, the author's method of design might be used
with confidence for pumps in the specific range of approximately 8,000. The efficiency might be increased if the
effects of the boundary layer at the tip and the hub were
taken into consideration.
The resistance to conditions generating cavitation might
be increased by designing aerofoils according to the method
described by himself and his co-author. In fact, the curvature of the vanes (sharp-edged), should be chosen such
that the direction of the leading edge matched the direction
of the relative velocity w.
How to design an aerofoil could be seen from Fig. 36:
A straight line should be drawn from the leading edge, the

T h t , A. I934 Bulletin des Inglru'eurs Civils de France, MaG


ruin, ' P M n e s dz la cuvitarion'.
f Daky, 3. W.1949 Trans. A.S.M.E., volt 71,
*'c- of an
Characterisria and I*te
Aspcct Rano C actemstxu
Hydrofoil Section'.

LS9,

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AxlAGPLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

891

the straightener blades of the test pump had been overloaded. Lift coefficients of 1.2 to 1.4 were generally in or
near the zone where separation losses occurred. The blade
angle should be 71 deg. at 3.25 inches radius and 83 deg.
at 5.25 inches radius calculated by the aerofoil theory.
That seemed to be in accordance with the test result shown
in Fig. 23. More or longer straightener blades would have
been better, but the improvement could not be more than
some & per cent of the efficiency. Apart from that detail
the pump was of a correct design, and, therefore, he
believed that the test results were of general interest.
He himself had designed a propeller pump, 25 years
earlier, with a head coefficient of 1+4 = 0.24 and a flow
coefficient of = 0.225. The 13-inch diameter impeller
had had 4 blades and a hub/tip ratio of 0.55.
At that time very little had been published about propeller pumps, therefore, he had calculated the blades by
the simple aerofoil theory using the profiles tested by the
Gottingen Institute.
The pump had given a slightly lower head and had had
an overall efficiency of 79 per cent. Then he had measured
the yaw angle and velocities in five sections. The data had
been very erratic. He had altered the chord, and the bladeangles until there had been good radial pressure equilibrium,
and until the head and capacity had corresponded to the
design point. The efficiency had increased to 82 per cent.
The h a l blade angles, the chordradius ratio had been
very close to those described in the paper and the performance characteristic had been nearly identical with
those shown in Fig. 21.
Some years earlier he had had to design a pump with
identical head and flow coefficients. He had tried the slip
theory but the calculations had shown that it would not
give good results. Finally the impeller had been made by
a modified aerofoil theory. The pump had given the same
results as the earlier pump made by the partially experimental method. Some improvement could be reached by
using a bell instead of a suction pipe, eliminating the axial
velocity reduction in the area adjacent to the tip.
He believed that not much improvement could be
expected for low head coefficient pumps except for those
of bigger size which had efficiencies of 84-86 per cent.

Fig. 36. Deszgn of an Aerofoil


angle with u being equal to

& (inlet angle), with length

3 the chord length. From the latter point a second straight

line should be drawn, the angle with w direction, p2, being


= j3co+60, with length 3 the chord length. Those lines
would be tangents to the aerofoil at leading and trailing
edges respectively. A parabolic curve should then be drawn
tangent to the same lines at the leading and trailing edges.
That curve would give the aerofoil skeleton. The trust
centre would not be located at the intersection of the straight
lines but approximately at 0.6 of the chord length from the
trailing edge upon the skeleton. On both sides of the
skeleton e/2 should be measured, e being the blade thickness,
as given, for example, in aerofoil catalogues.

Mr. AND& DE KOVATS(New York) wrote that the experiment made by Dr. Hutton was very interesting since few
similar measurements had been made on forced vortextype axial-flow impellers. It seemed the flow tended to
realize a pressure equilibrium by changing the axial
velocity. That could be expected. The increase of the
swirl angle adjacent to the tip area was the consequence of
the low axial velocity due to the friction on the wall. It
might be less in pumps because of the lower viscosity of
the water.
It could be seen from Fig. 1 that there were no
straightener vanes downstream of the impeller. Straightener
vanes would have changed the flow pattern, and he supposed that the shape of the axial velocity curve would be
steeper if influenced by straightener vanes.
He agreed completely with the author that the aerofoil
theory allowing for change in axial velocity was the best
calculating method known.
It was regrettable that efficiency values had not been
given. Testing a pump with different impellers, but all at
the same head and flow, and with the impellers and
straightener vanes made with different vortex patterns,
going from the constant pitch to the free vortex pattern,
had shown that the latter had the best efficiency if designed
by the corrected aerofoil theory. For pumps he had not
found any advantage in the forced-vortex type.
In regard to the paper by Dr. Spencer, it seemed that

(Padova, Italy) wrote that he


Professor MARIO WICI
fully agreed with Dr. Huttons statement that the generalized
application of two-dimensional design methods by axialflow pumps was restricted and that particularly for predicting pump performances at flow rates less than the
design values.
By visualization of flow, in various experimental pump
models, he had found, in his long laboratory practice, that
the secondary flow associated with changes in radial distribution of the velocities and the tip-vortices might considerably affect flow conditions all over the pump annulus.
Those effects were somewhat influenced by tip clearances,
but only when the clearance ratios became greater than
about 1 per cent, us stated in Dr. Huttons analysis. Where
three-dimensional flow conditions were involved, it seemed

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892

COMMUNICATIONS

appropriate to introduce some modified two-dimensional


theory and design and to develop new methods on a compromise, according to the authors proposal. The authors
study was a real advance in that direction, but some further
work and experimental evidence was surely needed, in
order to ascertain completely the importance and the
in3uence of three-dimensional effects on pump performance by different impellers and diffuser bladings and
for various specific-speed ranges.
Dr. Spencers work in establishing valuable information
about overall performance of an axial-flow pump in the
investigated specific-speed range and by various numbers
of blades and by various blade tip clearances (from 0.6 to
2.4 per cent blade height) was of remarkable interest.
He fully agreed with the authors results and conclusions.
He had himself had occasion, some eight or nine years
earlier, in his research laboratory, to investigate by different axial-flow and Kaplan pumps the influence of blade
tip clearances with a varied number of impeller blades
(3,4, and 5 blades), on both an open and a closed circuit.
One of them had been an axial-flow pump with a spiral
casing, four thin symmetrical inlet guide-blades, an experimental impeller with 230 and 115 mm. (about 9& and
4 g inches) tip and hub diameters, five straightener blades
and 300 mm. (about 11% inches) volute delivery diameter.
Its blading-height had been 57.5 mm. The specific speed
of the pump at the operating point had been
n4= n .QO.5 .H-0.75= 175
The best overall pump efficiency had been obtained with
a tip clearance of 0.5 mm.; the optimum tip clearance had
been found to be 0.87.
With other investigated experimental axial-flow pumps
or pump models with a bending-casing, the optimum tipclearance per centage values had reached from 0.7 to 0.85.
The effect of the number of impeller blades on axialflow pump performance curves as determined by the
authors, was somewhat in agreement with his own results.
With reduction of the number of blades audible cavitation
had occurred at flow-rates nearer the operating point, but
all through his own research work in that field he had
obtained the highest efficiency values with three-blade
impellers. That had perhaps been due to the method he
had used in calculating and designing the bladings of his
experimental axial-flow pumps. That had been a somewhat
intermediate method between the conventional cascade
(two-dimensional) and a three-dimensional flow motion
method with an approximate considerationof the secondary
flows associated with the change in axial velocities and their
radial distribution along the pump blading.
Dr. Spencer was correct in acknowledging that an
analysis of overall performance of the entire pump unit,
which included intake, impeller, and diffuser, was of major
practical importance to one confined only to the blading
performance.
(Japan) wrote that Dr. Hutton had
Professor F. NUMACHI
done valuable work in obtaining results on the impeller of

small hub tip diameter ratio and of large specific speed;


it was also very useful that he had found the optimum
value to lie in e = 1-2 per cent as to the effect of tip
clearance, which was usually subject to discussion at the
design stage. But, as to the result in which tip clearance
was shown as giving an extremely great effect on the
characteristics of blade sections (Fig. 15, etc.), a problem
remained for researchersto solve in regard to how it worked
in a usual type of impeller, having smaller pitchchord
ratios of blade elements.
Kahane (1948) Bowen and others (1951) and Goga (Goga
1955)* had already pointed out that there was an agreement between the theoretical and the eXrjerimental result
of performance when mean axial velocity was taken in
three-dimensional design of impellers (by cascade theory).
It followed that change of axial velocity was duly to be
considered also in the case of three-dimensional design
by aerofoil theory, papers on which, however, had not
been made known except by Ikui (1956)t. In that paper,
which had been read only a short time before the authors
paper, the whirl distribution of impeller treated had also
not been of the free-vortex type.
In comparing slip theory and cascade theory with his
so-called modified theory, the author had limited the
former to two-dimensional scale, the propriety of which
he would question.
.Further, he would point out that in the two-dimensional
slip theory to be used for comparison, when residual whirl
component eu at the exit of impeller was considered, the
value of obtained by that theory agreed with the experimental result to the same degree as the result of the authors
modified aerofoil theory, i.e. static pressure rise obtained
merely by the impeller was :

H=

012-022

2g
Expressed non-dimensionally gave, in place of equation (l), the expression
+ca = 1-(+2 cot Pz)2++12-+22
The slip factor h by Wislicenus being introduced,

{l-dl-#m)

neglecting the axial velocity change (+12-+22).


The results calculatedby that expressionhad been drawn
into Fig. lla, b and c and was shown in Fig. 37$.
It should be remembered that Howell had aimed at the
case where the range of pitch chord ratio = 0.64.2 and
had not considered the application to the case where the
range was 1.3-3.0 as in the impeller of the authors
Gaga, A . 1955 Tram. Japan Sac. Mech. Eng., 001. 21?p. 358,
Theory of All 50 per cent Reaction, UniformAxial Velocrty Type

Axial Flow Compressor.


Ikui, T . 1956 Memoirs of Faculty of Engineering, Kmhu
University, vol. 16, No. I , Axial-Flow-Fans and Compressors
of Solid Vortex Blading, read at the General Meeting of Japan
SOC.Mech. Eng., in Tokyo, on 1st April 1956.
H . Murai, Assistant Professor of the Instrtute of High Speed
Mechanics, worked out the &vation of the expression and the
illustrations.

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

893

original cascade theory which he had quoted in comparison


with his own.
In regard to Dr. Spencers paper he considered it very
useful to designers that the author had made clear the effect
of tip clearance on the overall aciency and head coefficient.
Measurement had been made at downstream from the
bend pipe in the experiment, but he himself did not think
the true pump pedormance could be observed at that head.
With respect to increasing the resistance to cavitation
susceptibility,the author had quoted the sections of Warren
(1953) as well as Numachi and Murai (1952). But, he
would point out that adequate sections (Numachi and Abe
1952, 1953)* could be obtained by interference theory
taking account of the suitability(Numachiandothers 1953)t
of pressure distribution on the section surface, and theoretically developed sections such as those by Warren should
be preliminarily verified by cavitation tests for them to be
of use in cavitation characteristics.

Mr. A. PFENNINGER
(Zurich) wrote that, in regard to
Dr. Spencers paper, he would first refer to his own paper
(Pfenninger 1953)$ in which were reported some investigations on model runners of various specific speed for axial
pumps and the test results illustrated. Since calculation of
a good propeller called for observanceof the aerofoiltheory,

0.2

0.4
FLOW COEFFICIENT,

0.6

42

b Near tip, x = 0.78.

Numachi, F., and Abe, S. 1952 Reports Institute High Speed


Mechanics, Second Report, vol. 2, p . 21; 1953 Fourth Report,
vol. 3, p . 139, Cavitation Tests on Hydrofoil Profiles Suitable
for Arrangement in Cascade.
Numachi, F., Murai, H., Abe, S., and Chida, 3. 1953 Report
Institute High Speed Mechanics, Third Report, vol. 3, p . 99,
Comparative Study of Suitable Types of Pressure Distributron
Prescribed for the Calculation of Cascade Profiles.
$ Pfenninger, A . 1953 Hydraulic Installations, Propeller Pumps
(Escher Wyss News, Zurich).

0.2

0.4
0.6
FLOW COEFFICIENT.

0.8

1.0

1.2

42

a Near hub, x = 0.44.

0.2
FLOW COEFFICIENT.

0.6

b*

c near tip,^ = 0.98.

Fig. 37. Comparisons of Theoretical and Measured Head-Flow Curves for Sections Along the Blade
X

----

Aerofoil theory.
Experiment.
Numachi slip theory.

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COMMUNICATIONS

894

knowledge was necessary of the behaviour of the chosen


blade profile in the cascade. The measurement results were
shown for the separate blades as also in the cascade. In
view of the fact that the guide apparatus also had a considerable influence on the characteristics, particular attention had been paid to its design. Axial-flow wheels also
called for a satisfactory and well-ordered inflow of the
water to the impeller, which factor had also been investigated on the basis of separate tests carried out with air.
The final shape of the inlet found in that manner had then
been confirmed as correct by hydraulic tests, whereby an
improvement in efficiency had resulted as compared with
the normal bend.
Dr. RAMADAN SADEK,M.Eng. (Associate Member), wrote
that Dr. Hutton had stated that for constant inlet incidence i,
the deviation angle at any particular blade section was unaffected by tip clearance; i.e. for widely different threedimensional conditions, the relative flow always left the
blade at the same angle. That did not agree with his own
computation.
Considering Fig. 6, for = 0.20 and the two extreme
tip clearances, the whirl angle downstream of the rotor, at
x = 0.5, ranged from 52.7 deg. for e = 0.5 per cent to
33.5 deg. for e = 4.5 per cent. Using the data given in
Fig. 5 gave:

dimensional flow of varying strengths, under two Merent


conditions :
(1) as it had been originally manufactured, with a
34-inch hub diameter,
(2) with a modified hub of 8 inches diameter.

a Original.

Local incidence
Axial velocity, u2
Flow coefficient, 4 = alu
Whirl component, w2
tan 132
/I2, angle between relative fluid
velocity and plane of rotation,
deg.

e = 0.5
e = 4.5
per cent per cent
The same for both
0.785 u
1.185 u
0.2
0.2
1.03 a
0.785~
0.198
0.281
11.2

15.7

If his computations were correct, then it showed some


deviation from the authors statement. It gave a total
change in the relative flow direction of about 4 deg., which
in his opinion was of considerable magnitude when compared with the deviation angle 8.
He agreed with the author that the simple aerofoil
theory, assuming the upstream axial velocity as being
constant through axial runners, failed when three-dimensional flow prevailed. On the other hand, the modified
aerofoil theory, allowing for changes in axial velocity by
taking the mean vector, gave better agreement under such
conditions. That modified theory was better than the
former simple one, in that it averaged the variation in axial
velocities upstream and downstream of the propeller; yet
actually it was an extension of the former with the difference
that +(ul+uJ was taken as the constant axial velocity
instead of al.
In some experiments he had carried out at the City and
Guilds College during 1948-51, in a research work under
the supervision of Professor C. M. White, a 12-inch,
&blade axial-propeller had been tested with three-

b Modified.

Fig. 38. Rotors


The original and modified rotors were shown in Fig. 38.
Velocity traverses, taken upstream and downstream of the
rotors showed distinct changes in the three-dimensional
flow for both cases. For throttled conditions, the radial displacement varied both in strength and direction for the
two rotors: it was outward for the original propeller and
inward for the 8-inch hub diameter. Those changes in the
direction and strength of the radial displacement, helped to
throw light as to whether it had direct influence upon the
flow direction, downstream of the rotor and, consequently,
upon the magnitude of the imparted whirl velocity, or not,
Fig. 39 showed the ratio of the axial velocity downstream
of the rotor to that on the upstream side, c = u2/u1, at
radial stations r/Ro 0.69 and 0.89, both for the original and
modified rotors. That ratio expressing the local changes in
axial velocity, gave an idea of the strength of secondary
flow. It had been found, after several attempts, that only
when the whirl velocity downstream of the rotor was
referred to the local downstream axial velocity, that the
experimental points did follow a single curve, when plotted
against the corresponding local flow coefficient based upon
the downstream axial velocity 42 = u2/u, Fig. 40. Those
curves, as well as those for other radial stations, were consistent, in clearly showing that the whirl velocity and the
relative velocity, both in direction and magnitude, were
functions of the axial velocity downstream of the rotors
for any particular radial station, and that they were independent of the magnitude of the upstream axial velocity,
the three-dimensional flow direction and its magnitude.
That led to the conclusion that the radial displacement of
the pumped fluid took place within the rotor well before
the fluid being discharged. Consequently, it could be stated
that the circulation of the blade element concerned, its
operating lift coefficient, and its loading were only functions
of the local downstream axial velocity u2, and that they

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

would not be inffuenced by the actual value of the upstream


axial flow velocity al.
A question could then be raised as to whether better
agreement would result if the downstream axial velocity
were assumed to be constant through the blade element,
irrespective of the actual value of the upstream axial
velocity. That, obviously, represented the other extreme
for modifying the aerofoil theory. Fig. 41 showed the

0.8

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

+2=a2/"

a For radial station r/Ro = 0.69.

895

velocity triangles and the aerodynamic forces according to


that modification. He considered that that modification, in
light of the experimental data he had mentioned, would
very likely lead to better agreement. Especially as he noted
that the author, when dealing with local blade-section
characteristics, had preferred to express those as functions
of the downstream ffow coefficient, Fig. 11: t j = F(+,).
He did not agree with the author in attributing axial
velocity and whirl component redistribution downstream
of the propeller, associated with exaggerated tip clearance,
Figs. 5 and 6, to tip trailing vortices. He considered that
tip trailing vortices would not induce such changes in
velocity as had been noted experimentally, Fig. 42. He was
inclined to think that the conditions close to the outer
diameter were closely influenced by the boundary layer
there. He would imagine that a certain part of the boundary
layer at the outer boundaries, would be more or less
rotating with the blade tips at a relatively higher whirl
component than could be actually imparted by the blade
circulation itself. That spinning layer enveloping the main
flow would tend to increase the whirl component imparted
at the outer radii. It was interesting to correlate between
the point of inflexionfor the whirl angle distribution curve
and the depth of the boundary layer upstream of the rotor,
@-inch radius (Figs. 24 and 30 and similarly Figs. 3, 6,
and 14). With exaggerated tip clearance, a deeper section
of the boundary layer would be in a way similar to the
case of a boundary layer flow with adverse pressure
gradient. The outermost fluid filament within the radial
clearance was flowing against the delivery pressure, while
its only source of energy was through turbulent mixing
with the adjacent layers, and the shear stresses exerted by
blade tips in the tangential direction. Both types of shear
stress would be intensified through tip cross leakage from
the high-pressure to the low-pressure sides of the blades,
the strength of which increased with tip clearance. That
would lead to more rapid growth of the boundary layer,
and hence a reduction in axial velocities at the outer radii
and a consequent increase at those near the hub. The
resulting increase in the whirl angle at the outer radii, for
the case of large tip clearance, could be looked upon as the
result of (1) the decrease in the local flow coefficient
giving larger w2/u2,and (2) the deeper layer spinning under
the action of the blade tips' tangential shear stresses, while
the decrease in the whirl angle at radii near the hub, as a
result of the increase in the corresponding local 4, gave
smaller w2/a2. That redistribution of angular momentum
and axial velocities would obviously influence the pressure
head generated, Figs. 6,9,28, and 30. Besides, the presence
of turbulent shear stresses of larger magnitude would also
influence the efficiency.
It was interesting to note that the tip clearance between
the blades and the outer boundary wall could be treated in
a similar manner as for flow through rough pipes. The
radial clearance A r was analogous to roughness size K in
the case of pipe flow. If the blade tips were 'protruding'
well outside the laminar sublayer, then they would influence
the main ffow. For the case of pipe flow, when Reynolds

+,

&=a 2/"
b For radial station rlRo = 0.89.

Fig. 39. Secondary Flow Factors Against Flow Downstream


CoGcient
0

One 3.5-inch hub rotor operating alone and with boosting set-

up; secondary flow radially outward.

x The 8-inch hub modified rotor; secondary of flow radially

inward.

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896

COMMUNICATIONS
i -2

I -0

0.8

0.6

3
1
I

0.4

0.2

__

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0-7

0.1

0-2

$9 = a 2 / 1 1

0-3

0.4

42=+

a For radial station r/Ro = 0.69.

b For radial station r/Ro = 0.89.

Fig. 40. Tangential Velocity Compomnt as a Ratio to Amal Velocity Downstream of the Propeller Against Downstream
Flow Co&cient

o One 3t-inch hub rotor operating alone, and with boosting set-up.
x The 8-inch hub modified rotor.

The United States rotor of two contra-rotors 24 inches apart.

Fig. 41. Velocity Triangles and Aerodynamic Forces


with Downstream Axial Velocity Constant

Fig. 42. Proposed Trailing Vortices, Induced Velocities

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

a97

roughness number exceeded '70, the roughness k would


influence the main flow, which would be then fully turbulent. The author's data, given in Fig. 29:
Shear stress = T~ = p(du/dr) = p ( U / A r )
Friction velocity = vx
(TO/%'

Reynolds roughness number = Ar . C / Y


Dynamic viscosity = p
Kinematic viscosity = Y

Tip clearance, per cent


.
Shear stress at blade tip T ~
dynes per sq. cm.
.
Reynolds roughness number.
Overallefficiency, per cent

0.6

1.0

1.5

2.0

2.5

550
81
79

330
104
79

220
128

165
148
75

182
165
74

765

It was also of interest to note that the optimum tip


clearance could be obtained by compromising between the
tip shear stress and the need to keep Reynolds roughness
number as low as possible to ensure the least interference
of the blade tips with the main flow.
Professor K. K. SHALNEV
(Moscow) wrote that the main

F k . 43. Efect of the Kind of Cascade and its Angle of SZope


on Rise or Decrease of Single-section Lift Force

o
A

Prandtl, 1927.
Legras, 1935.
Hahn, 1939.

Christiani, 1928.

Shimojama, 1939.

v Keller, 1937.

Busemann, 1931.

A Gutsche, 1938.

aim of Dr. Hutton's work had been to verify theoretical

design methods for impellers of hydromachines which were


intended to pump comparatively large quantities of liquid.
Such hydromachine impellers had blades made as aerofoil
sections. It was natural, because of such a construction,
that a number of theoretical methods for impeller design
based on fluid flow round a single aerofoil or round a
cascade had been developed. The author's experimental
investigations had shown the true picture of the flow and
the inadequacy of merely theoretical conclusions if they
were not based upon facts, and therefore the work was of
importance for practical engineers as well as for theorists.
Some years earlier he himself had been interested in
aerofoil performance in cascade, through which the flow
moved with acceleration (turbine cascade) or with slowing
down of its velocity (pump cascade). The experimental
works of many investigators published before 1946 had
been used (Prandtl and Langer 1927, Christiani 1928,
Busemann 1931, Legras 1935, Keller 1937, Gutsche 1938,
Hahn 1939, Shimojama 1939)* to ascertain whether it was
possible, by methods based on their data, to recalculate the
section lift factors by a uniform method.
Among the works experiments on cascade in wind-hydrotunnels as well as on turbine and pump impellers had been
described.
As a result of adaptation of those works the graph
(Fig. 43) was developed C,,,/C, =f(&), where CTcwas a
lift coefficient of a section in a cascade, C,, was a llft coefficient of a single section, and /3, an angle between a cascade
line and a flow direction before the cascade. In that situation
the attack angle was B = 0.
It should be noted that the C,, coe5cient.s for turbines
and turbine cascades had been calculated from the mean
geometric velocity upstream and downstream of the cascade
and C,,, coefficients for pumps and pump cascade had been
correlated to the velocity before the cascade. The differences
between the characteristics of the section in the accelerated

An alphabetical list of references is givm in Appendix III.

flow and in the slowing down one could be clearly seen.


In the first case the ratio Cyc/Cywas everywhere >1,
while in the second case it was < 1. Such a deterioration
of the section characteristics in the diffuser cascade system
no doubt was due to the rapid accumulation of the boundary
layers on the sections when they were placed so that diffuser passages were being formed between them. The
strictly theoretical design methods did not take into account
that fact, and that was why the theoretical conclusions did
not coincide with practice.
In connexion with the problem of the flow conditions in
the impeller, the works by Ruden (1937) and Walter (1936)
should be mentioned. Ruden determined the streamline
directions along the impeller blades by pickling sensitive
paper with ammoniac. Walter, together with Stefanovsky
(1937) used the visual method for flow direction determination upstream and downstream of the impeller by means
of flags placed at various distances from the pump axis.
The flag deviations were observed through glass windows
cut in the pump casing. The pump performance at capacity
Q = 250 litres sec.-l and head H = 3.1 metres must be
considered to be normal and correspondingto the maximum
efficiency. With the normal performance regime and with
capacity increase to 10 per cent, the fluid flow was parallel
to the pump axis (Fig. 44). With capacity decrease below
normal, the head increased and the flow deflected towards
the periphery. At very low capacity a turbulent zone
appeared. Walter and Stefanovsky explained those observed
deflexions as the effects of centrifugal force which could be
ascertained from the head increase.
In connexion with the peculiarity of the velocity measurements downstream the impeller, and possible errors, he
thought it might be interesting to present results of an
investigation on a spatial flow downstream of an impeller of
a pump mounted in a navigable channel (Shalnev 1957).
The pump head was H = 8 metres and its capacity
Q = 25 cu. m. sec.-l

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COMMUNICATIONS

898

The pump impeller with a diameter of 2,500 mm.


(Fig. 45)had consisted of four adjustable blades which could
be positioned at an angle rS, = 10-18 deg., where j3e was the
angle between the direction of the rotation and the chord
of the blade tip end section. The blades had been made
from sectionshavingarelativethicknessZ = c/l = 0-02-0-10
where 1 was a chord of the section. The hub diameter was
1,100 mm. and the blade width b = 700 111111. The clearance
between the blades and the casing walls at the blades turn
axis had roached 2.5 mm., i.e. 0.001 of D1or 0.0036 of b.

Fig. 45. Construction of the Axial Blade-adjustable Pump


With Which the Experiments Were Carried Out for
Measuring Velocities by Pitot Spherical Tube
1. Spinner with vanes. 2. Impeller. 3. Flattening vane set.
4. Measuring points and Pitot spherical tube axis.

Fig. 44. Pump Throttling Effect on the Streamlines


Form Through the Impeller

1
2
3
4
5

1 per sec

285
275
250
225
200

I
I

No.

H,
metres

1.85
2.30
3.15
3430
4.30

6
7
8
9
10

No.

1 per sec

175
150
120
80
40

H,
metres
4.85
5.00
5.15
6.32
8.05

The impeller had been surrounded by a double-wall


chamber. The inboard walls had been made replaceable,
the outboard walls formed the casing which was partially
concreted into the foundation of the building. The annular
passage connected with the outboard station rooms surrounded the pump casing. It allowed Merent observations
and measurements to be made when the unit was working.
The spinner, having five vanes of a streamlined form, had
been located before the impeller. Because of the small
number of the vanes they had not been intended to guide
the flow upstream of the impeller.
The flattening vanes set, consisting of nine vanes, was
mounted downstream of the impeller. It had been intended
to make the flow parallel to the pump axis.
The aim of the experiments had been to measure the

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

value of the absolute velocity Cz and the velocity direction


at the impeller outlet. A specially made spherical Pitot tube,
having a sphere diameter of 18 mm., had been used as a
veIocity headpiece. The measuring point axis or the axis of
the spherical Pitot tube had been placed at distances of
from 248 up to 210 mm. from the blade ends. In spite of

899

the short distance of the measuring points from the rotating


pump impeller, the pressure differences in a mercurywater-manometer caused by the blade ends passing the
spherical Pitot tube were negligible and could easily have
been suppressed. The scheme for the velocity and flow
direction determination using the spherical tube was as
shown in Fig. 46. The spherical Pitot tube was turned
around its axis so that the pressure difference at openings
4 and 5 was h4.5 = 0. Then the differences h2.1,h2.3, and
hl.3 = h2.3-h2.1 had been calculated. The angle fin had
been found from the correction curve h1.3/t%2.4=f@), and
the other velocity coefficients and the velocity C2 had been
found on the base of the determined angle &.The angle a
had been taken from the limb. The angle /3 represented the
angle of the flow deflexion in a meridional plane and was
found by = &-Po where Po was an angle between the
measuring point axis and the horizontal.
60
50

40

30
60

Fig. 46. Scheme for Determination of Velocity and Flow


Direction
a, b, f, e
a, d, e, g

Openings, plane 1,2, 3.


Openings, plane 4, 2, 5.

50
40

30

10

-10

, o ~

1-::

J
2

a
-10
10

60

-I0

50

10

40

-10

0
HUB

30
100

200

300

400

500

6001

700

HUB

.X@fM.--+

Fig. 47. Change of Flow Dejexion Angle /3 in Meridianat


Plane Along the Measuring Point Axis

Xb--MM.----+

Fig. 48. Change of Flow Dejlexion angle a in Plane


Perpendicular to the Measuring Points Axis

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COMMUNICATIONS

900

The angle a represented the deflexion of the component


C'2 of the velocity Cz against the normal to the axis of the
measuring point in the meridional plane. It was found
from the equation sin a2 = Cz,/C2. At /3 = 0 the angle
a2 = 90 deg-a.
The graph &,) for different values of 18, (Fig. 47)
showed that the flow direction in the middle part of the
passage between the hub and the chamber walls was
parallel to the pump axis. Near the chamber walls it deflected
towards the walls owing to some diffusion of the flattening
vanes set walls. Near the hub walls the flow tended to whirl.
The graph a against x b (Fig. 48) showed that a significant
streamline deviation occurred on the cylindrical surfaces
coaxial with the pump. The large deviation at the chamber
walls was a result of a boundary layer existing near the
chamber walls, the deviation at the hub walls was a result
of the flow rotation.
Such a conclusion could be made after consideration of
the graphs Cz against Xb (Fig. 49), which actually showed a
significant increase in C2 with the streamlines approaching
the hub walls.
The curve of velocity C2, (Fig. 50) normal to the measuring point axis became linear. The pump capacity calculated
on the base of the mean velocity Cz, was approximately equivalent to capacities determined by hydrometric flow meter
m a channel before the suction tube of the pump.
Analysing the results, some considerations about the
errors in velocity measurement near impellers would be of
interest.
During the measurement of a velocity downstream of
the impeller by hydraulic tube, some mean value for the

velocity head curve along the impeller cascade, but not a


mean velocity curve, was found. According to CoriolisBoussinesq (Bachmetjew 1932) that effect was evaluated by a
coefficient ag = q,/q, where qm was a mean value of the
velocity head in the velocity heads curve and q was a velocity
head from the mean velocity v, of the velocity curve along
the same cascade. The coefficient qB could be calculated
from the formula aB = 1+3q (Bachmetjew 1932) where
rl=--&-'
fdvdw dv was the difference between

an actual

velocity v and a mean velocity v,. Since always aB> 1 then


vm>vm. In spite of that fact in many cases when comparisons were made between capacities measured by (hydrometrical) spherical tube and capacities measured by some
other well-checked method it turned out that the capacity
measured by a (hydrometric) spherical tube was less than
the one measured by the well-checked method.

8 ;

100

200

300

400

5W

600

700

1:

$ 6

8I 4
2

,oi

i
I

0
HUB

HUB

Xb-MM.-

F&. 49. Change of Absolute Velocity at Impeller Outlet C2


Along the Measuring Points Axis

xb-MM.-

F&. 50. Change of Component C,, of the Velocity C2 Along


the Measuring Points Axis

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

901

Fig. 51. Schematical View of the W a k Zone Effect After the Impeller on the Relative Velocity w 2 and on the
Absolute Velocity C, and the Angle cr2

The reason for those differences might be explained by


an effect of a wake zone that existed in a relative flow
behind the blades. Harris and Fairthorne (1928) had
pointed out the existence of the wake zone, later that
problem had been studied in detail by Silverstein and
others (1939). He himself had used the experimental data
by Silverstein and other investigators and plotted graphs
showing velocity decrease in the wake zone to depend upon
the distance from a section edge and its resistance as well
as the dependence of a wake zone width on the noted facts
(Shalnev 1954).
The appearance of the wake zone caused the relative
velocity decrease w2 and, therefore, if it were assumed that
the velocity direction w2 was constant in the wake zone
and in the free flow, the decrease of the angle a2 in outlet
velocity formed a triangle (Fig. 51). In such a way the
velocity C,,, from which the pump capacity was calculated,
decreased greatly.
That meant that there were two reciprocally oppositive
effects over the flow measurement results downstream of the
impeller: the measurement method effect and the effect of
the blade flow around conditions in the relative flow. The
complex dependence between the capacity and the wake
zone was affected by the resistance of the sections of which
the blade consisted. With satisfactory streamlined sections,
with their low resistance, the wake zone effect was small
and the experiments on the velocity measurements downstream of the impeller would be accurately conducted even
with the measuring points located close to the impeller.
If the blade resistance was high, those measurements
would not give an exact picture of the flow. From that point
of view the experiments carried out on the flow velocity
measurements after the runners of a pump and a turbine
by a low inertia gauge would have great importance.
In Dr. Spencers interesting experimental investigations
on the propeller pump relating to the tip clearance effect

on the pump characteristic, the data as to the clearance


effect upon the pump efficiency with the changing clearances from 0.5 up to 1.0 per cent were of particular interest.
If an explanation of that factor could be found the result
would have a great importance for the development of
conflicting methods for overcoming cavitation erosion.
First, the relative amounts of unevenness on the chamber
walls, opposite to the blade tips with the higher clearances
were less and therefore the danger of chamber wall cavitation was also less (Shalnev 1951, 1952). Secondly, higher
clearances should simplify the pump assembly. T o obtain
those results it was very important to find out not only
the clearance effect but rather the effects of the blade tip
configuration. The positive results of the checking of the
tip roundness effect, for example, over the pump efficiency
and its head would have a stimulating significance for
development of a method to avoid chamber wall and blade
cavitation erosion using the rounded blade tip configuration
as in turbines.
Considering the reasons for the negative clearance effects
on pump impellers more closely, he had used the work by
Flachsbart (1931), who had tested a number of aerofiil
section models of different form and thickness in a wind
tunnel. Side plates had been fixed at various distances from
the tips on both the ends of the model which was quadrant
in plane. The tested sections had a relative thickness in the
range E = 0.02-0.20.
Flachsbart had analysed his experimental results by the
ratio C,,/C, where C,, was an aerofoil drag with mounted
side plates and C, an aerofoil drag only. By that method
for the analyses of the experimental results Flachsbart had
made some different conclusions. For instance, he had
concluded that the added drag depended directly proportionally upon the section thickness as well as upon the
section form. If Flachsbarts method was used for the
inductive aerofoil drag determination it would be seen that

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COMMUNICATIONS

902

1,000

c,,

Fig. 52. Curves of the T;P Clearance Drag C,, and the
Inductive Drag CXjfor Dt@rent Sections as a Lift
Force Function According to Flachsbart Experimental
Data
a/b, per cent. 1. 0.50. 2. 0.60. 3. 1.10. 4. 1.60. 5. 2.60.
6. 540. 7. 1350. 8. 29.30. 8-9 00.

the inductive drag would be different at the same lift force.


Using the aerodynamic characteristics of the tested sections,
taken from the section atlas, the inductive drag values and
the absolute values of the fine-clearance drag had been calculated at Cy = 0.5 and Cy = 0.8.At C,, = 0 all drags, both
inductive and fine clearance, must equal zero (Fig. 52). As
Fig. 52 showed, the fine clearance drag, as well as the inductive one, depended on the magnitude of the section liftforce
only, and they were analogous by their nature to the aerofoil
inductive drag CXiand could be expressed by the form
C,, = ACy2, where the coefficient A should be taken from
the graph A against f (alb), in which a was a clearance size,
b was a blade length (Fig. 53).
Consideringthe problem connected with cavitation inception, the significantdifferenceof Ckcurves in Fig. 31 was due
.vr2/g,as well as the
to the fact that the formula p, = 0*7CL
experimental data for the single sections, did not take into
account the diversity of the factors which affected the flow
0.10

a,b -

Fig. 53. Values of the Co@cient A in the Empirical


Formula for the Tip Clearance Drag

in the pump impeller cascade. The turbine cascade data


also should be used as could be seen in Fig. 43.
In spite of that fact that in the authors work cavitation
could not be examined especially for the reason of the unit
conditions, he would like to express his regret that the
observations on the inception cavitation position had not
been carried out. The following cavitation forms should be
expected in pumps of analogous type naming the cavitation
characteristic by its position :
(1) the blade section cavitation caused by the blade
section configuration;
(2) the tip clearance cavitation or the cavitation resulting from the non-streamlined configuration of the
clearance pressure edge, it was located on the up only
at the first step of the cavitation inception;
(3) the tip cavitation rose on the displacement
boundary of the streamlines leaving the impeller and
flowing round the impeller blade at the rarefaction side
of it;
(4) the cavitation from the unevenness on the impeller
chamber walls which naturally was a cavitation form
most difficult to observe.
In that connexion, such a diversity of the forms of
cavitation which could arise on the pump impeller, would
suggest some strange effects of the clearance size 0.5-1.0
per cent on the pump efficiency. It was known (Shalnev
1950) that the fine clearance cavitation reduced the capacity
factor to 20 per cent at some steps of its inception. He
wondered whether the cavitation, which at close clearances
should cause a significant resistance to the fluid flow and in
that way somewhat increase the efficiency incepted in the
clearance. That problem could be solved by simple visual
observations with a stroboscope.

APPENDIX 111
REFERENCES

BACHMETJEW,
B. A. 1932 Hydraulics (Koobutch, Leningrad).
BUSEMANN,
F. 1931 Forschungsheft No. 349, ArbeitsWmung
einer Propellerturbine.
CHRISTIANI,
K. 1928 Luftfahrtforschung, vol. 2, No. 4, Experimentelle Untersuchung eines Tragfliigelprofils bei Gitternordnung.
FLACHSBART,
0. 1931 Spaltverluste an Tragfltigeln ZAMM,
vol. 11, No. 6.
GUTSW, F. 1938 Jahrbuch SchifFbant. Gesellsh., vol. 2,
Einfluss der Gitterstellung auf die Eigenschaften der im
Schiffsschraubenentwurf benutzten Blattschnitte.
HAHN,
K. 1939 Mit. Inst. Stram. Techn. Hochsch. Karlsruhe,
No. 4, Die Untersichung der Stromung durch eine Fltigelturbine bei verschieden Schaufelzahlen.
HARRIS,
R. G., and FAIRTHORNE,
R. A. 1928 R. and M. No.
1206, p. 286, Wind Tunnel Experiments with Infinite
Cascade of Aerofoils.
KBLLER,C., W s , L. S., WESKE,
J. R. 1937 The Theory and
Performance of Axial-flow Fans ((McGraw-Hill Publishing
Co., New York and London) New York).
LEGRAS,
R. 1935 Bulletin Assoc. TechnicalMar. et Aeronautique
T.39, Experiences sur linteraction des ailes dhelices en
regime de cavitation.

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

PRANDTL,
L., and LANCER,R. 1927 E.A.V.G., Lief 111, 1927,
Untersuchungen iiber Druckverteilungen an gestaffelten
Fliigelgitten.
RUDEN,P. 1937 Luftfahrtforsehung, vol. 14, No. 7, Untersuchungen nber einstufige Axialgeblase.
SHALNEV,
K. K. 1950 Crack Cavitation, vol. U-SH (Engineering Publications).
1951 Cavitation in Uneven Surfaces, second edition, vol. 21.
1952 Cavitation in the End Elements of the Driving Wheel in
Axial Hydraulic Engines, vol. 11 (Engineering Publications).
1954 Experiments on Cavital Erosion in Turbines and Power
Pumps, vol. CH-U-SH (Engineering Publications).
1957 Space Flow Behind the Driving Wheel of a Pump, as
Observed in Practice, Notes: OTN AN U.S.S.R. No. 10.
SHIMOJAMA,
JOCHIHORI.
1939 Mem. Fac. Eng. Kynshu Imp.
Un. Fukuoki, vol. 8, No. 4, Experimentson Row of Aerofoils
for Retarded Flow.
SILVERSTEIN,
A., KATZOFF,
S., and BULLIVANT,K. 1939
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Rep. No. 651,
Downwash and Behindplain and Flapped Airfoils.
WALTER,
P. A. 1936 Centrifugal Effects in Axial Pumps,
DAM vol. P/Ch. No. 1/87.

Mr. T. YAMAZAKI
(Japan) wrote concerning Dr. Huttons
paper that he wished that more detailed investigations
could be made in regard to a clearance of less than 0.5 per
cent of e. Fig. 10 showed that the maximum efficiency was
at e = 2 per cent, but he considered that to indicate the
position by per cent of e would be misleading in some
cases. He thought that that was a special case, and the
value of 2 per cent obtained by that experiment would not
be adapted to larger hydraulic machines, in which the
thickness of boundary layer would be different. Therefore,
he considered that that value should be defined in connexion
with a certain value such as that of the thickness of
boundary layer.
In regard to Dr. Spencers paper, the profile of the
impeller used for the test had been finished with a tolerance
of 0.005 inch. That value of tolerance would be too big
for use with a profile of close dimensions. Especially, for
cavitation test, it was very clear that such a difference of
dimension would give bad effects on the performance of
the pump and the conditions of cavitation. Favourable
tolerance would be, therefore, less than 0.001 inch. In the
test of a hydraulic turbine, he had experienced that it

903

could not be expected always that the cavitation occurring


on every blade was perfectly equal, despite the fact that
all the blades of 6- or 8-bladed Kaplan turbine models were
finished with very little tolerance. He considered that
particular importance should be placed on the finishing of
blades in the cavitation test.
The report on the tip clearance experiment with a precise
comparison was very interesting. But, with the largecapacity hydraulic machines, smaller tip clearances than
the present smallest one shown in the paper were often
used, in order to avoid loss of power. So he would be glad
to see more investigations made with smaller clearances.
The present data showed the maximum pump efficiency
was to be had at about 0.9 per cent of tip clearance ratio e,
but that value was out of common region for large-type
machines. Further, the idea that the efficiency dropped in
the region of values less than e = 0.9 per cent was understandable, but the conclusive value should be defined by
more experiments.
The change of yaw angle due to the change of tip clearance, shown in Fig. 30, was very interesting. But the comparison of the difference between 0.015 and 0.060 inch of
tip clearance, both on design flow, was on a different
condition of pump characteristics than already shown in
Fig. 28 (the difference was 18 per cent at head), and he
thought that the comparison of yaw angle from the consideration of the effect of changing characteristics would be
more usefid.
The authors opinions on the cavitation were reasonable.
But he himself considered that there was no verification
between the precise experiments using the pump impeller
and others which had been subjected to elaborate finishing
and consideration. It was evident that cavitation occurring
through the large tip clearance was very violent from the
observation through the transparent glass window. He
thought it was not possible to ascertain the true cavitation
phenomena without the stroboscopic method or supersonic
wave method, which were always adapted by himself
as the method of observation of cavitation. From that viewpoint, Fig. 31b should be studied further by more experiments.

Authors Replies
Dr. S . P. HUTTON,
in a brief verbal reply to the discussion,
said that he appreciated Mr. Addisons remarks about the
new laboratory at East Kilbride. He was particularly pleased

to see present engineers from the water hydraulics industry,


pump designers, fan designers, and colleagues from the gasturbine field. It was gratifying because one of the aims of
the papers had been to attract interest from all fields concerned with axial-flow machines. On basic problems, everyone stood to gain from the other mans point of view,

although their experience and outlook might be very


different. It was only from the discussion of common
problems by people from those very different spheres that
any real and fbndamental progress would be made.
In reply to Mr. Addison, he thought it unwise to compare
too closely the types of rotor investigated by Dr. Spencer
and himself. Although those gave similar non-dimensional
head-flow characteristics, they had been designed for
different purposes. As Dr. Spencer had mentioned, the

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AUTHORS REPLIES

pump rotor design was governed almost entirely by cavitation considerations consistent with maintaining reasonable
efficiency, whereas in fan design, blade loading was unimportant except as regards noise and stalling. For any one
duty there would, of course, be an optimum number and
size of blades. Radial velocity components in the plane of
the rotor were measured in two ways. In the first, mentioned
briefly in the paper, goose-down tufts were stuck to the
surface of a rotor blade and examined under stroboscopic
lighting. Goose-down apparently had about the greatest
ratio of aerodynamic drag to weight and it was therefore
not unduly influenced by centrifugal forces. The second
method consisted of injecting a fine jet of ammonia gas upstream of the rotor and studying its flow over the blades by
means of a sensitized paper, pasted over the blades, which
discoloured in the presence of ammonia. Both those methods
demonstrated the existence of strong radial components in
the boundary-layer flow. At reduced flows, as Mr. Addison
had mentioned, the flow actually reversed near the hub and
both the visual techniques and the Pitot traverses showed
negative axial velocities in the vicinity of the hub. On the
question of hysteresis, it seemed to depend on the blading
design, the profile used, and, even more important, on the
tip clearance. The surge point in axial compressors could
be shifted by increasing clearance but that was always at
the expense of efficiency and pressure rise.
He was interested to discover that Mr. Carter held similar
views on the probable need to combine both the cascade
and slip methods in order to produce a suitable design
technique. He would h s e l f like to use a cascade basis for
designing low-pressure-rise machines but much depended
on how far cascade data for closely spaced blades could be
stretched to apply to widely spaced ones. The question of
whether to use air or water tests was an entertaining subject
affording ample scope for discussion. It was impossible to
generalize because it was largely a compromise between
convenience and the particular requirements to be met.
Flow patterns were usually more easily revealed using water
but water was a less convenient fluid to handle. Both
methods were used at the Mechanical Engineering Research
Laboratory (M.E.R.L.), as they were at the National Gas
Turbine Establishment.
He agreed in principle with Mr. Hawes about the
allowance for varying rotor diameter as the tip clearance
was increased. However, the changes in pressure rise were
so much larger than any direct changes attributable to
reduction in rotor diameter that it was justifiable to neglect
them. In Fig. 10 for the largest clearance investigated,
e = 4-5per cent, the correction on # would be of the order
of 2 per cent.
He had been interested to hear Mr. Youngs remarks
about low Reynolds number tests on R.A.F. 6E sections and
was surprised to hear that there was little change in lift
coefficient and stalling angle between Rg = 2x lo5 and
2x 106, However, he hoped to discuss the matter with
Mr. Young later.
In reply to Mr. Daly, the measuring station had been
situated two blade chords, measured axially, downstream

of the rotor. It was interesting to hear of Mr. Dalys practical


experience on the axial spacing between rotor and stator
and its effect on noise. He thought that the final answer on
optimum axial spacing was not yet known by the gasturbine aerodynamicists. He was glad to hear that Mr. Daly
used other designs than free vortex. Such departures from
the textbook rule often had special advantages, as the gasturbine people had demonstrated. On Mr. Dalys suggestion
for twisting the blade near the tips to allow for wall boundary
layer, he knew of a 4,000-h.p. wind-tunnel fan where the
blade pitch had been adjusted to allow for reduced axial
velocity in the boundary layer. Subsequent flow surveys
on the full-scale installation showed that there was indeed
a thick boundary layer in the duct similar to that originally
assumed in the design. The fan blades worked well despite
their bent appearance, and their efficiency was reasonable.
Dr. Hutton, in a written reply to the communications,
emphasized that he had not been interested in the performance of his rotor for normal fan applications as such;
that was why guide vanes had not been tried. The sole
object of the rotor had been to produce suitable threedimensional flows for investigation. Several general points
had arisen in the discussion which required further explanation. There was obviously much interest in what happened
near the blade tips, where the swirl angle increased rapidly
and the pressure rise decreased. Obviously, flow conditions
were complex: the low axial velocities caused high blade
incidences, the tip clearance flow decreased circulation
round the blade, and the tip vortex-roller shed vorticity
and rolled up the wall boundary layer. He would not like
to venture a guess at the moment, but merely say that that
was a problem requiring intensive experimental research.
For flow surveys under such conditions, it was essential to
use three-dimensional probes and if he were to repeat his
own experiments, he would discard the simplePitot cylinder
and use a three-dimensional probe, despite the laborious
nature of the work. Professor Shalnev had quoted an
excellent example of that technique. The questions which
Mr. Hawes had raised about radial equilibrium and the fact
that the pressure gradient did not correlate with pw2/r he
thought were explained by uncertainties in the calibration of
the Pitot cylinder. The flow certainly had stabilized by
station 2 as the traverses gave similar results downstream,
but whether the traverse readings were completely reliable
seemed doubtful. Flow direction and total pressure probably
were, but static pressure was a difficulty.
Several people had asked for more information about the
overall performance of the impeller, including efficiency.
He would like to have said more about efficiency but there
were several difficulties about its measurement and definition
in that particular case. He had reluctantly come to the conclusion that the efficiency values computed from the
traverses were not sufficiently reliable to warrant inclusion.
Part of that trouble was caused by the three-dimensional
nature of the flow and its effect on probe calibration. All
that could be said was that between 4 = 0.3 and 0.2, static
pressure efficiency decreased about 10 per cent for the small
clearance e = 0.5 per cent, and about 20 per cent for

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

Mr. Carters remarks about the blade


efficiency changing with 4 and altering the slope of the
head-flow curve were very true and that was one reason
why the measured curves were not as steep as those predicted by cascade rules. With reference to Fig. 13 on a
further point by Mr. Carter, to calculate the axial velocity
distribution a2, he had used outlet angles from cascade
theory together with the full three-dimensional solution of
Bowen and others (1951). That made no assumption about
radial variation of total energy, the distribution coming out
automatically in the calculation. He agreed with Mr. Carter
that tip clearance effects were probably more important in
those machines likely to stall first at the blade tips. It would
c e m d y be profitable to study a blade which stalled first at
the hub.
Mr. Desmurs remarks on the effect of hub and wall
friction decreasing the axial velocity in those regions were
borne out by the measured distributions shown in Figs. 5
and 6. He agreed with the need to allow for such factors and
also to meet the three general design requirements outlined
by Mr. Desmur. The only difficultyabout those was that
they could not always be satisfied when a machine had to
operate far from its design point, for instance, as shown
very vividly by Professor Shahev in Fig. 44.Just how much
of the head-flow curve was approximately linear in practice
(he agreed that it never was actually linear) seemed to
depend on the particular design. Some machines gave
remarkably straight curves from design point down to low
heads and others did not.
He was interested to hear that Mr. Kovrits had found also
that aerofoil theory, allowing for changes in axial velocity,
was the most satisfactory design method, but that the free
vortex whirl distribution gave the best performance. He
thought that Mr. Kovits was right in suggesting that the
addition of straightener vanes to the rotor of Fig. 2 would
probably steepen the axial velocity curves.
Professor Medicis remarks were much appreciated and
he agreed that much more work would have to be done in
order to understand three-dimensional effects and their
limitations on various design methods. The main object so
far had been to reveal the more important limitations.
He was most indebted to Professor Numachi for pointing
out the valuable three-dimensional extension to the slip
method. Fig. 37 showed how closely the three-dimensional
slip and aerofoil methods agreed, and rather altered the
present viewpoint. For quick approximate design calculations there seemed little to choose between the practical
results given by the two methods. In regard to speed and
ease of computation, the slip method was preferable.
However, it was unwise to generalize at the present stage,
apart from saying that slip theory was still worth consideration in future experiments. He agreed that Howells
cascade design method had been stretched too far, as
admitted in the paper, and that it was not quite fair to
compare the two-dimensional slip and cascade methods
with what was a three-dimensional aerofoil solution. The
important thing to remember was that the simple twodimensional aerofoil method had also been useless in such a
e = 4.5 per cent.

905

case. On the question of tip clearance and its effect on the


flow in the annulus, he thought that the effects had been
exaggerated in the particular rotor which he had studied.
Its design was such that the tips of the blades were very
heavily loaded. More normal designs, as Professor Numachi
suggested would probably give smaller tip clearance effects.
However, further experimental verification was required.
Dr. Sadeks computation of p2 from Figs. 5 and 6 seemed
to be in error, probably because he had taken = u/u = 0.2,
whereas a/U = 0-2 was correct. That had been caused by
a typographical error in the nomenclature. p2 was more in
the region of 30 deg. (actually 28.3 and 34.6 deg.) but he
had been quite right to ask the question. In the particular
examplechosen (# = 0.2)there was a considerabledifference
(about 5 deg.) between p2 for the smallest and largest
clearances. That was part of the general experimental
scatter. However, if the comparison of p2 for the various
clearances was made for a large number of flows and blade
sections, the mean curve was quite clearly defined. From
Fig. 54, showing typical comparisons for three blade
sections at x = 0.53, 0.78, and 0.98, it. was apparent that
there was no systematic differencein p2 caused by tip clearance. Dr. Sadeks own work on that problem had been
most valuable and clearly demonstrated the importance
of relating w2 to a2. He had also found that w2 was
largely dependent on a2, but was not so sure that all the
radial displacement of fluid took place within the plane
of the rotor. He had made similar aerofoil calculations

based on ul, a2, and

7
for + = 0.2, 0.25, and 0.3. In

all cases the calculations using al had been useless, whereas


those based on a2 (as Dr. Sad& had suggested in Fig. 41)
and

2 had

given reasonable results. However, as a

matter of principle and also because of a very slight


superiority, he had preferred to continue the work using
On the ability of the tip vortices to induce the

velocity changes measured, he was not prepared to argue.


The various factors outlined by Dr. Sadek undoubtedly all
played a part but their relative magnitude could not yet be
assessed. The point of inflection of the whirl angle curves

=+T r/R=O%
I

0.15

0.20

0.25
4= a/dr

0.30

1
0.35

Fig. 54. Fluid Outlet Angles for Various Tip Clearances


e per cent. o 0.5 + 1.5 A 2.5
x 3.5 0 4-5.

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906

AUTHORS REPLIES

was certainly associated with the wall boundary layer and


also the tip clearance, but further research was required on
that aspect. Dr. Sadeks analogy betweea Reynolds number
roughness and tip clearance ratio had perhaps been carried
too far, although the tip clearancerooundary layer thickness
ratio was obviously an important parameter.
Professor Shalnevs contribution was a good example of
the successful combination of theoretical analysis and
experimental research in the field. Fig. 43, showing the
difference between turbine and compressor cascade performance, also clearly indicated the difference in boundarylayer flow in the two cases and its important effect on performance. The field test results of the flow surveys inside
the large axial-flow pumps had been most valuable. Fig. 44
showed clearly the very different flow r i g h e s which a
pump had to cover over its working range. Figs. 47-50
illustrated the value of such detailed surveys and the need
for three-dimensional probes. On the question of the
measuring errors involved with such techniques, in addition
to the factors mentioned by Professor Shalnev, he would
mention the errors caused by vibration of the Pitot sphere.
Experience at M.E.R.L. had shown that the calibration of
Pitot probes could be affected by vibration, a factor which
was often difficult to avoid in field testing. He agreed with
Professor Shalnev that the wake effects were very important
and that Pitot cylinders and spheres tended to register
wrong directions in a fluctuating wake region. Experiments
at M.E.R.L. had also shown that the flow from a pump,
estimated from Pitot cylinder traverses might differ from
the actual flow.
He agreed with Mr. Yamazaki that the optimum tip
clearance of 2 per cent was larger than used on big hydraulic
machines because, in the case of the fan rotor, the boundary
layer had been unusually thick. In large pumps and, more
particularly, water turbines, the boundary layer might be
very small in comparison with blade height, and tip
clearance ratios less than e = 0.5 per cent were certainly
used. It would therefore be profitable to make further
experiments in that range and he hoped to do that.
Dr. E. A. SPENCER,
in reply to the discussion, said
that one of Mr. Addisons queries had been to ask which
impeller was better, the one used in air by Dr. Hutton or
the pump impeller he had used. That really depended on
the application of the impeller. In the case of pumping
water the use of broad blades rather than narrow ones
would give the advantage of lower blade loading. That in
turn would reduce the cavitation susceptibilityof the pump.
He certainly agreed with Mr. Addison in his hope that
the British Standards Institution would produce a code
giving a more unified system of notation and terminology.
The experimental work he had described had not been
extended to a study of internal flow conditions away from
the design flow so that he could not say whether reverse
flows took place at low flow rates. All the evidence did in
fact suggest that such back flows occurred. Whilst he had
not found a hysteresis loop in the head-flow characteristic
in his tests, its cause had undoubtedly been due to the blades

stalling and that had appeared in the pump test curves as a


pronounced dip. Whilst that dip had been reduced by h e r
tip clearances, bringing the characteristicnearer to a straight
line, it had not been eliminated. Thus at some point the
increased losses associated with the stall would produce that
effect.
Mr. Young had remarked on the variation of aerofoil data
at low Reynolds numbers between the two papers. He would
point out, however, that relatively few of the N.A.C.A.
sections had been tested at Reynolds numbers suitable for
the outlet guide blades or indeed the impeller blades, and
his choice had, therefore, been restricted. He had in fact
taken account of Reynolds number effects for the impeller
blades, for which he had used the R.A.F. 6E section, but he
did feel that there was a need for test data on hydrofoil
sections, specially designed from the standpoint of cavitation, at Reynolds number between 1 x 105 and 1x 106.
Mr. Sciviers photographs of cavitation were a useful
illustration of that phenomenon and he regretted that he
had not been able to make similar studies. He was interested
to see that in that particular pump there had been some
cavitation present throughout the test range, although at
times inaudible, as he had suggested that possibility in the
paper to explain Fig. 31b.
He had not varied the hub/tip ratio in his investigation
but believed that higher impeller efficiencies could have
been obtained if that ratio had been increased. Additional
precautions would, however, have to be taken to avoid
cavitation. Also an improved design of the diffuser after the
outlet guide blades would be required if overall efficiencies
were to be improved. That aspect would certainly be
investigated by the author in future studies at the M.E.R.L.
Whilst he agreed with Mr. Addison that a different performance curve would have been obtained if the outlet
guide blades had been removed since the exit whirl velocity
from the blades would have carried into the discharge line,
he did not think that the guide blades had any marked
effect on the impeller performance itself in the axial-flow
pump. He had not, however, carried out any experiments
on the impeller alone as the outlet guide blades had been
used as a support for the impeller shaft.
Unfortunately he was not able to answer Mr. Addisons
question on the efficiency of the outlet guide blades as it
had not been possible to dissociate the guide losses from
the diffuser losses. In his impeller the whirl velocity at exit
from the impeller had represented almost 10 per cent of the
total head. He had re-analysed his experimental results and
calculated that the reconversion of energy in the combined
outlet guide blades and diffuser had been about 66 per cent.
Mr. Carter had stressed that it was unwise to generalize
from the results of tests on one pump and he agreed with
that. However, both Dr. Hutton and he had, nevertheless,
found with two quite different impellers very similar effects,
for instance in the drop in head characteristicwith increasing
clearance.
As Mr. Young had pointed out it was significant that he
and Dr. Hutton had both obtained similar shaped whirlangle distributions. The departure from free vortex con-

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AXIAL-FLOW IMPELLERS AND PUMPS

ditions appeared to be due to the upstream velocity distribution with its marked boundary layer added to the clearance
flows which had an increasing effect on the whole flow
pattern. At the smallest clearance those variations from
the design angles were only markedly different in the region
of the boundary layer. The method of design did not in
fact utilize the deviation angle of the fluid from the trailing
edge of the blade but the author had computed that that
varied from about 4 to 6 deg. between the hub and the tip.
Additional tests would be needed to determine ifthere were
any additional factors which influenced the whirl angle and
velocity near the blade tips.
He agreed with Mr. Scivier that a chart such as Fig. 33
would be useful in obtaining a first approximation for the
design of an impeller. He presumed that the blade angle
was that at the tip but he had not been able to make any
direct comparison with his own impeller as there was insufficient data on the figure. Of course the aerofoil section
used in Mr. Sciviers designs might in any case have been
widely different from the R.A.F. 6E section. It should be
remembered that the values of K and K, would vary with
the absolute values of U, V, and H since the Reynolds
number of the flow would change. The aerofoil characteristics of lift and drag were also affected so that the final
design would need to be based on individual calculations.
He appreciated Mr. Desmurs comments on the R.A.F.
6E aerofoil and its unsuitability from the point of view of
cavitation. That amplified his own statements that if high
cavitation performance was being sought, aerofoils more
like those tested by Numachi (1952) should be used. The
study of cavitation had, of necessity, however, played a
minor part in his tests. The blade angle at the tip had been
13 deg. 15 min. whilst calculated from the ratio of inlet
velocity to rotational velocity had been 11 deg. 48 min. so
that there was a positive incidence there and not as Mr.
Desmur had suggested a negative value. Nevertheless,. it
had been his intention to keep blade loading reasonably low
at the blade tips.
As Mr. Desmur had pointed out the relatively large
increase in estimated lift coefficient at the tip, Fig. 25a,
over the design value did arise almost exclusively from the
whirl velocity, although a corresponding increase in pressure head could not be detected with the instruments he
used. The blade efficiencies had been stated as varying from
93 to 97 per cent across the annulus but he had followed
OBrien and Folsom (1939) in neglecting the effect that that
would have on radial equilibrium.
The effect of blade thickness in increasing the axial
velocity component through the impeller was appreciable
and, whilst he agreed with Mr. Desmur that it would
perhaps be wise to make some allowance for that he had
found differing opinions between various authors. He was
pleased that his values of trailing edge blade angles were
similar to those described by Kovits and Desmur (1953) and
agreed that the distribution of losses at flows away from the
design point could not satisfactorily be analysed. As stated
in the paper, he had deliberately presented only overall
efficiency curves, as those did not depend on an arbitrary

907

assessment of losses which could not be measured during


the tests. He was interested in the cascade correction factor
obtained by Mr. Desmur especially as apparently quite
different values from the Weinig factor were obtained.
As Mr. KovAts had pointed out, the choice of such high
lift coefficients for the outlet guide blades was not justified.
High friction losses would result if those blades were
stalled although the overall efficiency had in fact improved
slightly when the incidence angle had been increased. He
had wanted to avoid the increased chord lengths that would
be required if the lifl coefficients had been reduced because
he had wished to keep the guide blades in the straight
portion of the pump annulus. It was apparent from the
results, however, that the diffuser after the pump had been
too abrupt. He thought that the improvement on efficiency
would be a little more than the 1/10 per cent suggested by
Mr. Kovits.
in a written reply to the communicaDr. E. A. SPENCER,
tions, said that he was very interested to find that the
results obtained by Mr. Kovhts on a similar pump had confirmed his own findings. He agreed with Mr. KovAts conclusion that some improvement could be obtained in the
practical case by using a bellmouth entrance and, therefore,
largely eliminating the uncertainties due to boundary-layer
growth.
He was glad that Professor Medici agreed with his own
results that the optimum tip clearance was in the region of
0.9 per cent. He was also interested in Professor Medicis
conclusion that a three-bladed impeller gave the best
performance. He wondered, however, whether that might
be because the specific speed range of his designs did not
extend into the very low or very high values. It seemed
likely that at very high specific speeds, for instance of the
order of 15,000, a two-bladed impeller might be better.
In regard to Professor Numachis remark on the measurement of the downstream pressure, he agreed that errors
could easily be introduced by measuring on a bend. It was
diflicult to measure wall static pressures accurately anywhere. He thought, however, that by taking readings round
the circumference at the discharge plane he had managed
to avoid results that were too unreliable. It was nevertheless
an important point and should be examined in individual
pump tests. He was glad that Prof Tor Numachi had quoted
the additional references to work by himself and Abe on
suitable aerofoil sections for reducing cavitation susceptibility. He had read the reports and agreed that they were
extremely useful.
Mr. Sadeks remarks on the Reynolds roughness number
were interesting and he would need to examine their
sigmlicance at a later date. He wondered, however, whether
the method of computing shear stress given by Mr. Sadek
could be used in the special case of tip clearance flows,
although it was perhaps significant that a balance between
shear stress and roughness number correlated with the
efficiency. He thought that considerably more experimental
data would be necessary to test that conclusion.
Professor Shalnev had also linked the point of wall

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908

AUTHORS REPLIES

roughness and clearances, particularly to tip cavitation, and

his suggestion of rounding the tip would be borne in mind


in future investigations. He agreed that the establishment
of optimum clearances, especially if those proved to be
greater than the values in current use by pump manufacturers, would be a convenient design factor. Professor
Shalnev had also pointed out that the generalization for
determining the suction pressure on an aerofoil section
suggested by Pfleiderer did not apply directly to the
accelerating and decelerating riigimes in turbine and pump
cascades. Correction factors were, he agreed, needed but he
had only presented a simplified approach to illustrate the
point that aerofoils used in impeller blades should be
designed with flatter pressure distributions than the normal
aerodynamic or fan section.
Whilst he agreed with Mr. Yamazaki that a hi& finish
was necessary on model machine blading if wind tunnel
data were to be used with conlidence, he thought that the

tolerance recommended by Mr. Yamazaki of less than


0.001 inch over the model blade surface would be difficult
to obtain in practice. The measuring techniques required
to check the twisted blade profiles were exceptionally
diflicult, and very expensive equipment would be necessary
if the systematic and random errors were to be reduced
below that value.
He agreed that it would be useful to examine the internal
effects of tip clearance at points away from the design flow
rate but his own aim had been mainly to assist the designer
who was primarily concerned with designing a pump for a
particular duty.
The authors wished to thank all contributors to the discussion for their stimulating comments and hoped that all the
direct queries had been answered satisfactorily. There were
many other points which required further examination and
they would bear those in mind when planning future
investigations at the M.E.R.L.

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