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38 Feature

WORLD PUMPS March 2016

Pump performance

Effect of sealing
ring clearance on
pump performance
n order to research the effect of impeller sealing ring
I clearance on a centrifugal pump, external performance
and flow characteristics of the centrifugal pump were
analysed, to select a reasonable impeller sealing ring
gap size. Here are the findings.

Clearance of impeller sealing ring is the factors such as flow regime, compressi- clearance of wear-rings and the pump
main reason for the loss of leakage bility and eccentricity were considered. cavity was analyzed in detail. In
volume of a centrifugal pump. However, summary, although there are some
the analysis of the internal fluid flow in Matsumoto K etc.[6] have studied that research about the clearance of impeller
centrifugal pump and the prediction of through increasing the radial clearance sealing ring, however, there is little
performance of the pump generally of the impeller seal between the front research on how to select the reasonable
ignore the influence of impeller sealing pump cover and the pump body in the sealing ring clearance, under the premise
ring. But, the impeller sealing ring has low specific speed centrifugal pump to of considering the performance of the
great significance to the performance of increase the leakage, thereby reducing centrifugal pump.
the centrifugal pump, it will not only disc friction loss, in order to improve the
cause the loss of the volume of the overall efficiency of the pump. Will etc.[7] The clearance of impeller sealing ring
centrifugal pump, but also to change the proposed a simplified two dimensional was selected as the object of the
flow in the centrifugal pump[1]. model of the clearance of centrifugal research, numerical simulation method
pump for calculating, and the flow in the was used, to analyze the inner flow
At present, there are some achievements
in the research of impeller sealing ring:
Chen Y etc.[2] have studied the effect of
front clearance and behind clearance on
the performance of the pump, it was
concluded that the effect of front clear-
ance on the performance of the centrif-
ugal pump is large than behind
clearance. Wu D Z etc..[3] have studied
the effect of clearance of impeller wear-
rings on leakage loss and mechanical
efficiency of centrifugal pump. Toshio
etc.[4] used CFX-TASC Flow, the numerical
simulation of labyrinth seal was
proceeding, and the effect of leakage
flow and clearance flow on the force of
the rotor was analyzed. Rhode.[5]
discussed the gap flow in detail, various Figure 1. Model for calculation.

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Feature 39
WORLD PUMPS March 2016

Figure 2. Q-H curves of dierent gap sizes. Figure 3. -H curves of dierent gap sizes.

condition of impeller, and to discuss the In the process of numerical calculation, growth, and also reduces in different
effect of clearance size on performance, the RNG k- model was selected for degree under each operating modes
leakage and internal flow field of centrif- turbulence model, multi reference coor- along with the b growth. The smaller
ugal pump, on this basis, selecting the dinate system was used to describe the the gap, the higher the efficiency of the
reasonable sealing ring gap. internal flow, and the rotating coordi- pump, which shows that the reduction
nate system was adopted in the of b can improve the volume efficiency
impeller region. Boundary conditions and total efficiency of the pump. The
Calculation model and mesh including: velocity entrance was set on changes are not obvious when b is in a
generation inlet; outflow was set on outlet; small value, but the changes become
IS80-65-160 single stage single suction standard wall function was used in the more and more fierce with the
centrifugal pump was selected as the near wall surface; non permeable and increasing of b. The maximum variation
research object, the three-dimension non slip were taken in boundary condi- of under five different conditions are
diagram is shown in Figure 1, where b is tion of wall, momentum flux and 4.607%, 4.387%, 5.294%, 4.973%, 4.703%,
the impeller seal ring gap. The design energy flux through the solid wall the maximum variation of H under the
parameters: inlet diameter D1=80mm, surface are 0; the QUICK scheme with same conditions reaches about 5%. But
outlet diameter D2=168mm, blade two order accuracy was adopted, and when b is equal 0.15 or 0.2mm, the
number Z=4, volume flow Q=50m3/h, the pressure correction was SIMPLC maximum variation of under the
head H=32m, speed n=2900r/min. algorithm; the convergence accuracy of different conditions is about 1%.
the calculation process was set to
Dividing the geometry into different 110-4, the external conditions are Figure 4 is , H-b curves under design
regions for mesh generation by ICEM, normal temperature and pressure, and conditions. It shows, with the increase of
centrifugal pump seal ring gap was the medium was water. b, H showed a clear downward trend. the
locally refined and the inner part of the volume loss caused by liquid flow
centrifugal pump was provided with through the front sealing ring increased
enough nodes to satisfy the requirement Hydraulic performance with the increase of b. The centrifugal
of the calculation accuracy, then unstruc- analysis pump performance under design condi-
tured grids were used in each area, to Figure 2 is Q-H curves of different gap tions is affected by the changes of b.
align the grid nodes of each part. Based sizes under five different flow conditions.
on the analysis of the influence of the It shows, H reduces along with the Q With the increase of b, show a
grid number on the calculation results, it growth; and H also reduces in different tendency to decrease obviously, and the
was found that the head and efficiency degree under each operating modes general trend of the downward trend
of the numerical simulation were less along with the b growth, the changes was gradually decreased with the
affected by the change of the number of are not obvious when b is in a small increase of b. It means the leakage of
the grid after the grid number was value between 0.15 mm and 0.2 mm, impeller seal ring gap increases along
greater than 1.47 million. As a result, the but the changes become fiercer with the with the b growth, which leads to the
mesh number of model pump was increasing of b. The maximum variation decrease of . the maximum efficiency in
about 1.50 million. of H under five different conditions are b=0.15mm, The changing trend of is
3.663 m, 4.2 3m, 3.928 m, 4.168 m, 1.696 basically consistent with H, which verifies
m, the maximum variation of H under the smaller b, the better performance of
Parameter setting the same conditions reaches about 4m. the pump.
In order to investigate the influence of But when b is equal 0.15 or 0.2mm, the
different clearance variation on the maximum variation of H under the H and increase along with the b
performance of the pump, 5 group of different conditions is about 0.5m. decrease, and the liquid flow back to inlet
gap width: b=0.15 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.7 mm through the impeller begin to reduce,
were selected for numerical calculation Figure 3 is -H curves of different gap making the leakage reduction, the energy
under 5 different operating modes : sizes under five different flow conditions. loss is also reduced, thus increasing the
Q=0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4Qopt. It shows reduces along with the Q volume efficiency of the impeller.

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40 Feature
WORLD PUMPS March 2016

Figure 4. , H-b curves under design conditions. Figure 5. Leakage ux-Q curves in ve gap sizes.

In summary, b has influence on the the result is 6.2%; when the flow of the flow conditions is selected to
performance of the pump, and when b decreases, the volume loss increases carry out analysis and comparison.
is greater than 0.3mm, H and begin to slightly, the calculation result is 8.9%
decline significantly. when b=0.15~0.3 under 0.6Qopt condition. Figure 6 is static pressure distribution on
mm, little difference on the performance the section of Z = 0 under different
parameters. But the smaller the B, the Figure 5 is leakage flux-Q curves in five clearance at design conditions. It shows
more difficult to machine, when the b is gap sizes. It shows, the greater the B, the pressure distribution along with the
too small, it will lead to friction between greater the leakage will be generated in change of the gap size is not obvious,
impeller and seal ring, it will seriously the impeller seal ring, the overall curve the change of the pressure in each gap
affect the operation of centrifugal pump, showed a rising trend, indicating that is also basically in the same trend. When
b=0.3mm, the differential pressure at the
outlet is slightly reduced, indicating that
"The impeller sealing ring has great the selection of 0.3mm is reasonable.

signicance to the performance Careful comparison shows that, with the


increase of B, the low pressure area in
of the centrifugal pump." the anterior chamber is enlarged to the
vortex chamber, The separation effect
between wall surface area of the water
in considering the processing difficulty the greater the B, the greater the absorption chamber and the main flow
and cost as well as both efficiency and amount of leakage; the leakage of area is obvious. It means the large the
head, select a reasonable impeller impeller seal ring reduces along with the gap, the more obvious effect of the high
sealing ring gap size of 0.2 mm. Q growth under the same gap condition. pressure fluid from high pressure area on
When b is smaller, the change trend of the low pressure fluid in the inlet region.
the leakage flux is not obvious
Leakage analysis compared with the large b.
Due to the existence of differential pres- Gap ow eld analysis
sure at both ends of the impeller seal Figure 7 is velocity (left) and pressure
ring gap, the gap is bound to leak, Pressure eld analysis (right) distribution of different gap sizes
resulting the pump capacity loss. In order to study the influence of the under design flow conditions.
Impeller seal ring leakage is the main clearance of impeller seal ring on the
volume loss in single-stage pump, it is inner flow field of centrifugal pump, the Figure 7 left is velocity distribution of
proportional to the theoretical head of radial surface Z = 0 was chosen as the different gap sizes, it shows high speed
impeller. The volume loss caused by the research object. It can be seen from the fluid flow to the pump inlet through the
impeller seal ring gap under design front program, the total operating point impeller sealing ring clearance under the
condition is not large, when b=0.2mm, is 25, it is too large, so the design point differential pressure between the pump

(a)b=0.15mm (b)b=0.2mm (c)b=0.3mm (d)b=0.5mm (e)b=0.7mm

Figure 6. Static pressure distribution on the section of Z = 0.

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cavity and the impeller inlet, with the energy is obtained in the flow passage obviously, and the general trend of the
increase of b, the velocity of fluid in the when the liquid flows from the inlet to downward trend was gradually
gap increases gradually, and the velocity the outlet of the impeller, and it shows decreased with the increase of b.
gradient is uniform, and the flow state is that the pressure increases with the
stable. when b increases to 0.7mm, the increase of impeller radius, the overall The leakage increases along with the b
fluid flow in the gap is unstable from the change trend is uniform, but there is growth, and it decreases along with the
graph, it shows that the leakage is more some disturbances in b=0.5 mm. Overall, Q growth in the same gap condition.
serious when the gap is larger. That the change trend of pressure and velocity When b is smaller, the change trend of
means that in the range of processing, b distribution is basically the same, so it is leakage with Q is not obvious compared
should be as small as possible. Because better to choose smaller clearance value with the larger b.
the smaller the b, the smaller the flow to improve the efficiency of the pump.
loss inside the gap, the smaller the The larger the gap, the more obvious is
volume loss, and improve the efficiency the effect of the high pressure fluid from
of the pump. Conclusion high pressure area on the low pressure
With the increase of b, the and H of fluid in the inlet region. When b is smaller,
Figure 7 right is pressure distribution of the pump under different working the fluid velocity gradient in the gap is
different gap sizes, it shows a number of conditions show a tendency to decrease uniform, when b increases to 0. 7mm, the
fluid flow in the gap is unstable.

The centrifugal pump impeller sealing


ring gap on the performance of the
centrifugal pump and the flow of the
state have a great impact, when
b=0.15~0.3 mm. There is little difference
on the performance parameters consid-
ering the processing difficulty and cost
(a) b=0.15mm
as well as both efficiency and head,
when selecting a reasonable impeller
sealing ring gap size of 0.2 mm.
Acknowledgements
The author acknowledges the support of
National Science Foundation of China
(Grant N0.51476144) and the Zhejiang
(b) b=0.2mm
Province Natural Science Foundation of
China (Grant No. LQ15E050005).

References
Please contact the author directly for full
references.

(c) b=0.3mm

Contact
Jiegang Mou
College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University of Technology, PR China

(d) b=0.5mm Authors


Zhenfu Chen
College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University of Technology, PR China
czf516905006@163.com

Yunqing Gu
Lecturer, College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University of Technology, PR China

Tianxing Fan
(e) b=0.7mm College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University of Technology, PR China

Figure 7. Velocity and pressure distribution of dierent gap sizes.

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