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CENTRIFUGAL PUMP DESIGN1

The client will usually specify the desired head and pump capacity. The type and speed of the
driver may also be specified. Speed is governed by considerations of cost and efficiency as well as drivers
available to the client. Given these parameters, the task of the engineer is to minimize cost.
Which cost to minimize, first cost or life-cycle cost, however, is an important consideration. From
a life cycle viewpoint, we must take into account power consumption and operation and maintenance costs.
These considerations call for optimizing efficiency, reliability (the mean time between failure) and
maintainability (the mean time to repair). In general, designing to optimize these categories results in
increased costs. Often, these considerations are not very important and we can design for minimum first
cost. In appropriate cases, the engineer should initiate a dialog with the client concerning available options.
For example, designing a boiler feed pump that operates continuously would probably call for maximizing
efficiency. Efficiency considerations would not be so important, however, for a drainage pump that is only
required to operate occasionally.
PIPE CONNECTIONS AND VELOCITIES
The diameter of the suction pipe is usually made larger that the pump suction flange and both are
made larger than the discharge flange and pipe. Church recommends keeping the velocity at the suction
flange about 9 or 10 ft/s and that at the discharge flange between 18 and 25 ft/s.
LEAKAGE LOSSES
To design the impeller, account must be taken of leakage from the discharge side back to the
suction side. To reduce the leakage, wearing rings are fitted to the impeller and casing. These rings are
designed with specified clearances. The leakage across each ring can be calculated from the following
formula:

QL CA 2 gH L
where: C = flow coefficient

A = leakage area = Ds / 2
D = mean clearance diameter
s = diametrical clearance

0.010 ( D 6)(0.001)in3

For small wearing rings with precise machining and ball bearings, the minimum clearance may be
reduced to 0.008 in.

HL

3
U 22 U 12 / 2 g
4

This section is based on Church, A.H., Centrifugal Pumps and Blowers,


Ch. 6, John Wiley & Sons, 1950.
2
Id. Fig. 6-1, p. 92.
3
Attributed by Church to Stepanoff, A.J., Trans. A.S.M.E., HYD-54-5, 1932.

IMPELLER INLET DIMENSIONS AND VANE ANGLE


The diameter of the impeller eye, Do, is dependent on the shaft
diameter, Ds, which must initially be approximated. The hub diameter, DH ,
is made 5/16 to inch larger than Ds. After estimating Ds and DH , Do is
based on the known flowrate. The inlet vane edge diameter, D1, is made
about the same as Do to ensure smooth flow.
EXAMPLE OF IMPELLER DESIGN4
Specified conditions:

1.

Quantity flowrate:

2.

Required head:
hP = 150ft
Required flowrate: Q = 2500 gpm
Required speed
N = 1760 rpm

2500 gal
min

min
ft 3
5.57 ft 3 / s
60 s 7.48 gal

Mass flowrate:

5.57
m

ft 3 62.4 lbm
348lbm / s
s
ft 3

3.

Specific speed: Assume a double suction impeller; then, Q = 2500/2 = 1250gpm, and:

N sd

(rpm) Q( gpm)

h ( ft )

3/ 4

(1760) 1250
1450rpm
(150) 3/ 4

For this specific speed, a radial flow pump is indicated. 5


4.

Water horsepower.

WHP

mgh
(348)lbm (32.2) ft (150) ft
s hp
s2

550
s
s2
(550) ft lbf 32.2 ft
WHP 94.6hp

4
5

See, Church, p. 107-117.


See,Munson, Fig. 12.18, p. 812.

5.

Shaft diameter. Calculate shaft diameter based on torque. Increase the calculated value
somewhat to allow for bending moment which is unknown at this point and to ensure that the
critical speed exceeds the operational speed by a reasonable margin. The bending moment
will depend on the weight distribution of the shaft and any unbalanced radial thrust acting on
the impeller. From the figure shown below, with the given flow of 2500 gpm and calculated
value of specific speed of 1450, we select a tentative value of efficiency of 80%.

BHP

Thus:

WHP

94.6
118hp
0.8

The required shaft torque then is:

(118) hp (550) ft lbf


min (60) s
rev
(12)in
4230lbf in
s hp
(1760)rev min (2)( )rad ft

Assuming a shear stress of 4000 psi:

16T
(16)(4230)lbf in in2
3
Ds 3

1.75in
ss
( )(4000)lbf

To account for the unknown bending moment and critical speed, increase the shaft diameter to
2 1/8 in. Church states that the hub diameter, DH , is made from 5/16 to in. larger than Ds:
Let

DH 2 in.

6.

Suction line velocity and diameter of suction flange.

Assume a velocity of 10 ft/s at the suction flange; thus:


2
VSU ( ) DSU
(4)(5.57) ft 3 s (144)in2
4Q
; or, DSU

10.1, say,10in ;thus,


Q
4
( )VSU
( )(10) ft s ft 2

VSU

(4)(5.57) ft 3 (144)in 2
10.2 ft / s
( ) s(10) 2 in 2 ft 2

Assume the velocity at the eye of the impeller is 11 ft/s.


For a double suction pump, assume that the leakage will not exceed 2%. Dividing the total flow by 2 gives:

Q V0 A0 V0 (

D0

7.

(4)(1.02)Q
DH2
( )(2)V0

D02
4

DH2
4

(4)(1.02)(5.57)(144)
5
(2.5)2 7.33in, say, 7 in
( )(2)(11)
16

Wheel inlet dimensions and angle.


Assume an inlet diameter, D1, of 7 5/16 in.

U 1 r

(1760)(2)( )(7.315)
56.2 ft / s
(60)(2)(12)

The radial velocity should be slightly higher than V0 because a converging shape is more efficient than a
divergent one. Let Vr be 12 ft/s.
The inlet area will be decreased by the vane thickness. Assume a contraction factor, 16 , of 0.85; the
entering width then is:

b1

Q
(102
. )(557
. )(144)

175
. in
D1Vr11 ( )(2)(7.31)(12)(0.85)
W1

1 is generally between 0.8 and 0.9, Church, p. 95.

Inlet angle: Assume that water enters vanes radially.


Vr1

1 tan 1

Vr1
12
tan 1
12.10
U1
56.2

1
U1

1 is usually increased slightly to account for contraction of the stream as it passes the inlet edges as well as
prerotation. The inlet angle is usually between 10 and 25 degrees7. Let 1 be 130.
8.

Impeller diameter, D2.

The theoretical head can be found from integrating the force on a differential mass:

dF dmr 2 and

dP

dF
; dm d brddr
A

2
brddr r 2
2 2
2
1 dP 1 brd 1 rdr 2 (r2 r12 )
2

but

U r

and

P
;hence,
g

H2 H1

P2 P1 U U

g
2g
2
2

d
2
1

For a closed rotating cylinder containing a fluid, the pressure head developed at the outer rim is:

H2

U 22
2g

Substituting D2 /2() for U2 and solving for D2 :

D2

2 2 gH 2

2 (2)(32.2) H 2 (60) 12 1840 H 2

(2)( ) N
N

(12)

Where: H2 is in feet; N is in rpm; D2 is in inches.


Tests have shown that the required impeller diameter can be calculated from this expression by substituting
the head corresponding to the best efficiency point for H2 and then multiplying the right side by an
experimentally determined coefficient :

D2

1840 H
N

Church, p. 95.

(13)

Church8 gives several charts for which have been based on a large number of tests. Most of the plotted
points fall within a range of 0.9 to 1.1. Noting that if the head on test is found to be too high, the impeller
diameter can be machined to an appropriate diameter, select 1.05 for ; then:

D2
9.

(1840)(105
. ) 150
13.4in ; say, 13 in.
(1760)

Outlet vane angle, 2, and impeller width.

The normal range for discharge angles is between 20 and 25 degrees9. Furthermore, 2 is usually made
larger than the inlet angle. Assume 2 = 200.
The radial outlet velocity, Vr2 , is made the same as, or slightly less than, the radial inlet velocity, Vr1.
Assume Vr2 = 11 ft/s10.
Outlet area (based on required flow plus leakage).
3
2
Q (1.02)(5.57) ft s (144)in
A2

74.4in2
Vr 2
s (11) ft ft 2

Assume a contraction width, 2 , (based on experience) of 0.925:

b2

(1.02)(5.57) ft 3 s (144)in 2
Q

1.896in
Vr 2 D2 2 s (11) ft ( )(13.5)in ft 2 (0.925)

10. Outlet velocity diagram.


The absolute outlet velocity, V2 , is used in the design of the volute. We proceed as follows:

U 2 r2

(1760)rev min(2)( )rad (13.5)in ft


103.7 ft / s
min(60) s(2)(12)in rev

Theoretical tangential outlet velocity, V2.

V 2 U 2

Vr 2
11
103.7
735
. ft / s
tan 2
tan 20 0

Actual tangential outlet velocity, V2.11


The inertia of the rotating fluid causes a circulatory flow opposite to the direction of rotation of the
impeller. This flow, superimposed on the outward flow, results in the fluid leaving the impeller at an angle
8

Church, pp. 199-104.


Id., p. 35.
10
Id., p. 110.
11
See, Church, p. 28 for a discussion of circulatory flow.
9

less than that calculated from angular momentum theory. Thus 2 must be decreased and , therefore, the
absolute angle, 2 , increased. The effect of circulatory flow is to reduce V2 and the theoretical head.
Church defines a circulatory flow coefficient, , as:

V' 2
V 2

Church assumes a value of of 0.7. This coefficient can be calculated from tests. Pump manufacturers
will maintain records from which a reasonable value might be estimated for a given design.

V'2 (0.7)(735
. ) 515
. ft / s
The outlet vector diagram can now be drawn:

2' tan 1

11
12.10 , say, 130
515
.

V2' Vr22 V'22 112 515


. 2 52.7 ft / s
V2

'2

V2
Vr2

Vr2

V2
V2
U2
11. Cross-section of impeller.
Wall and vane thicknesses are usually made a minimum consistent with good foundry practice. The stresses
due to centrifugal force and fluid pressure are relatively low for average applications; otherwise, they need
to be taken into account12.

12

Id,, p. 152.

Table of Calculated or Assumed Dimensions


b1 = 1.75 in per side
b2 = 1.90 in
D2 = 13 in
D0 = 7 5/16 in
Dr = 8 in (to outside of impeller wearing ring)
Impeller shroud tip thickness - 3/16 in
Connect outlet to inlet by a straight line faired into entrance to provide a smooth transition. Make tip of hub
core 3/16 in and fair into hub diameter. The drawing is shown in the figure on the following page.
12. Check leakage loss.
From the figure on page 8, the mean diameter of the clearance is 8 in. Let s be the diametral clearance.
Church states that the wearing ring clearance for good practice is 0.01 in for rings of 6 in diameter and less.
For rings greater than 6 in, increase the clearance by 0.001 in for every inch of ring diameter greater than 6
in:

s 0.010 ( D 6)(0.001) 0.010 (85


. 6)(0.001) 0.0125, say,0.013in
The clearance area is:

A Ds / 2 ( / 2)(8.5)(0.013) 0.174in2 0.00121 ft 2


Head across the rings13:

3 U 22 U 12 (3)(103.7 2 56.2 2 )
HL

88.5 ft
4 2g
(4)(2)(32.2)
From Figure 6-1, p 92, Church, the flow coefficient for 1760 rpm and a 0.013 in clearance is 0.410. Thus,
the leakage is:

QL CA 2 gH L (0.410)(0.00121) (2)(32.2)(88.5) 0.0375 ft 3 / s


The per cent leakage is

0.075
(100) ; or 1.35 %, which is, close enough to the assumed value of 2 %.
558
.

13

Church attributes this equation to A.J. Stepanoff: Leakage Loss and Axial Thrust in Centrifugal Pumps,
A.S.M.E. Trans., HYD-54-5, 1932.

DESIGN OF VANES

The entrance vane angle,

1 , has been found to be 130 ; that at the exit, 200 .


0

For smooth flow, we

must design the vane such that this angle increases smoothly from 13 to 20 . We note also that the radial
components of velocity to these two angles are 12 and 11 ft/s, respectively. We also see from the vector
diagram that
then:

W Vr / sin . The relative velocities corresponding to the entrance and outlet stations are

12 / sin 130 53.3 ft / s and 11 / sin 200 32.2 ft / s . To obtain intermediate values of radii

corresponding to intermediate values of the position angle, , we proceed as follows (see Fig. 3):
1) Plot , Vr, and W against vane radius, r, for the entrance and outlet stations and connect by a
straight line (or a smooth curve).
2) The corresponding values for vane angle, , are computed from
values are also plotted against their radii.

sin Vr / W . These

Alternatively, write a computer program to perform the above functions. Referring to the figure below:

tan

dr
dr
or d
r tan
rd

dr

dr
180 r r

r1 r tan
r1 r tan

180

rd

Note: Use MATLAB or other computer system to perform the integration.


Use a sufficiently close spacing of r to obtain a smooth vane shape.

3) Plot the radii against to give the shape of the trailing edge
of the vane.
Draw the front edge of the vane with the same curvature as the back edge with a thickness of about 1/8 in 14.
NUMBER OF VANES
The number of vanes is given by the Pfleiderer equation15. First, calculate the average vane angle:

m
z no. vanes 6.5

1 2
2

13 20
16.50 ; then,
2

D2 D1
(135
. 7.312)
sin m (6.5)
sin 16.50 6.21, say,6.
D2 D1
(135
. 7.312)

The circumferential pitch of the vanes is:

( )(7.312)
383
. in
(6)

Check the contraction factor:

zt
zt
sin
1
D
D sin

1 1

14
15

(6)(0125
. )
0.855(0.85assumed )
(7.31) sin 130

Church, p. 115.
Id.

10

2 1

(6)(0125
. )
0.948(0.925assumed )
(1350
. ) sin 20 0

The assumed values agree reasonably with those calculated.

SUMMARY
Diameter of suction flange, Dsu ------------------------------- 10in
Velocity in suction flange, Vsu ---------------------------------10.22 ft/s
Shaft diameter, Ds -----------------------------------------------------------------------2 1/8 in
Impeller hub diameter, DH --------------------------------------2 in
Impeller eye diameter, D0 --------------------------------------7 5/16 in
Velocity through impeller eye,V0-------------------------------11 ft/s
Diameter of inlet vane edge, D1--------------------------------7 5/16 in
Velocity at inlet vane edge, V1 = Vr1 ---------------------------12 ft/s
Passage width at inlet, b1 -----------------------------------------1.75 in per side
Tangential velocity of inlet vane edge, U1 -------------------56.2 ft/s
Vane angle at inlet, 1 --------------------------------------------130
Impeller outlet diameter, D2 -------------------------------------13 in
Radial component of outlet velocity, Vr2 ----------------------11 ft/s
Vane angle at outlet, 2 -------------------------------------------200
Total passage width at outlet, b2 ---------------------------------1.98 in
Tangential velocity of outlet vane edge, U2 -------------------103.7 ft/s
Absolute velocity leaving impeller,

V2' -------------------------52.5 ft/s

Tangential component of absolute leaving velocity,


Angle of water leaving impeller,

V' 2 ---51.5 ft/s

2' ----------------------------130

Number of impeller vanes, z ------------------------------------6

11