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Compurers & Srrucrures Vol. 55. No. 2, pp. 347-356.

1995
0045-7949(93)EOOWX Copyright 0 1995 Elsevier Science Ltd
Prmted in Great Britain. All rights reserved
0045-794919s 19.50 + 0.00

A PROPOSED DESIGN PACKAGE FOR CENTRIFUGAL


IMPELLERS

S. N. AI-Zubaidy
Mechanical Engineering Department, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates

(Received 5 October 1992)

Abstract-A scheme for the Computer Aided Design and manufacture of radial impellers is described.
Starting with a one-dimensional calculation, the principal dimensions (for given performance require-
ments) are optimized using a suitable optimization algorithm. Then, employing a direct design procedure,
the detailed geometry of the impeller is established. These geometrical data are then processed as input
data to a host of separate programs which check the flow distribution characteristics, blade stress and
vibration. Interaction between designer and design package was kept to minimum. The final output could
be obtained in the form of tabulated data for direct production by N.C. machines.

NOTATION in incidence
B blockage U tangential
b width, constraints (optimization program) r radial component
c absolute velocity rms root mean square
G friction coefficient Z axial direction
CP specific heat at constant pressure 6 tangengial component
d diameter SF skin friction
e inducer to tip diameter ratio
F objective function (optimization program)
h hub to tip diameter ratio
INTRODUCTION
L path length
impeller axial length Many Computer Aided Design (CAD) procedures
M Mach number
have been developed in the last three to four decades
m mass flow rate
N rotational speed for the design and analysis of both centrifugal im-
P pressure pellers and turbine rotors. Benson and Fischer [I] for
4 head example, proposed a computer assisted procedure for
radius the design and manufacture of radial turbine rotors.
T temperature
The input data include the design specifications and
time
u tangential velocity the inlet and outlet flow conditions (i.e., pressure,
W relative velocity temperature and the rotational speed). Baines
number of impeller blades, axial coodinate et a/. [2] proposed a procedure for the design of mixed
tangential direction
flow turbines which has several logical steps that
flow angle
blade angle, relative flow angle necessitate designer intervention at various locations.
deceleration ratio, viscosity Came [3] described a computer based compressor
assumed isentropic efficiency design procedure which deals mainly with the im-
efficiency peller. The package includes geometry modelling,
density
ratio of specific heats
aerodynamic analysis, stress analysis and the gener-
slip factor ation of geometrical data for manufacturing pur-
displacement thickness poses. The common features of the aforementioned
kinematic viscosity design packages could be summarized as follows:
w speed of rotation
(i) Interventions by the operator are required at
Subscripts many stages during the execution, furthermore nei-
ther the conditions on which decisions may be made,
0 stagnation condition
1 impeller inlet nor the remedial steps or modifications that would
2 imbeller exit help to satisfy the acceptable conditions have been
3 diffuser exit defined.
aV. average (ii) The axial length of the impeller along its axis
b blade
BL blade loading
of rotation appears to be chosen quite arbitrary.
DF disk friction (iii) Emphasis appears to have been on the geo-
i incidence angle metrical description of the impeller. Blade definition

347
348 S. N. Al-Zubaidy

could be accompiished by conic sections, LamC Ovals For a given set of performance requirements, the
(supercircle) or by using polynomial patches. equations of continuity, energy and Newton’s second
(iv) These procedures are suitable essentially for law can be combined and re-written in dimensionless
analysis and may be used for design work in an form using the assumptions that the flow is one-di-
indirect mode. mensional, steady and the fluid is a perfect gas. It may
The procedure in this paper is capable of overcom- also be assumed that the condition of zero pre-whirl
ing some of the above mentioned drawbacks. The at the impeller inlet prevails. Then based on the above
package consists of a suite of programs that requires mentioned, the following general expressions could
mainly the design specifications as input data. A be obtained.
detailed description of the package core programs An expression for the dimensionless speed par-
will be presented in the following sections. ameter could be written as:

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The proposed package consists mainly of nine


separate programs that deal with:
1. One-dimensional analysis. The relative flow angle at the outlet could be defined
2. One-dimensional parameter optimization in the following manner:
3. A direct design program.
4. Casting possibility program.
5. Quasi-three-dimensional flow analysis.
6. Stress analysis.
I. Vibration analysis.
8. Safety limits.
9. Output to N.C. Program.
An outline of the computer design procedure (in the The inducer to tip diameter ratio:
form of a flow chart) is shown in Fig. I. This paper
will describe the theory (in some detail) behind
programs numbered I, 2, 3. 5 and 6 and referred to in
this paper as core programs. However, information
about the remaining programs (i.e., 4, 7, 8 and 9) are
presented in detail and in a separate manner in The dimensionless mass flow parameter, based on the
Al-Zubaidy [4]. inlet flow conditions:

PRELIMINARY DESIGN-PROGRAM I

From a system point of view, the impeller of a


centrifugal compressor may be considered as a gener-

x[&+q
alized fluid handling system (Fig. 2 shows a cross-sec-
/$,f? ,: +li?c, ,, (4)
tion and the nomenclature of a compressor stage),
and the variables which will completely describe the 2
design and performance of this system may be di-
vided into three groups as follows:

e.g. e.g. e.g.

Tip diameter Inlet total pressure Mass Row parameter


hub diameter inlet total temperature pressure ratio
tip width fluid density, etc. efficiency, etc.
inducer diameter, etc.
A proposed design package for centrifugal impellers 349

; INPUT
0START

CESi’QEQUlREMENTS ;

IMPOSE THE DESIGN CONSTRAINTS (IF ANY)

I
ESTIMATE SLIP FACTOR, NUMBER
OF BLADES & IMPELLER EFFICIENCY

I
CALCULATE THE IMPELLER OVERALL
DIMENSIONS USING PRELIMINARY DESIGN
PROGRAM (EACH VALUE EACH VARIABLE )
I
RECALCULATE SLIP FACTOR AND EFFICIENCY

OPTIMIZATION OF INLET AND OUTLET GEOMETRY


USING AN OPTIMIZATION ALGORITHM.
PROGRAM. 2
I
SELECT VALUE OF IMPELLER LENGTH ALONG
ITS AXIS OF ROTATION.

PRESCRIBE THE SPACE RATIO OF DIFFUSION

PROGRAM. I,
EVALUATION

(TO CHECK RESULTING VELOCITY SCHEDULE )


PROGRAM .S

STRESS ANALYSIS OF THE IMPELLER


PROGRAM. 6
AND AERODYNAMIC DENDING STRESSES.
I
BLADE VIBRATION ANALYSIS PROGRAM. 7

SAFETY FACTOR ESTIMATIDN PROGRAM. 8

PRODUCTION OF N.C. DATA PROGRAM. 9


I 3

ANOTHER DESIGN

OUT PUT DATA

Fig. I. Computer aided design procedure How chart


350 S. N. Al-Zubaidy

VOLUTE CASING

VANELESS DIFFUSE

The solution of eqns (l)-(5), for stated design require-


ments will narrow the area of search for the overall
dimensions (Le., establish the practical range of geo-
metrical and flow parameter variation) and hence will
enable the designer to establish a preliminary design
chart. Figure 3 shows an overall plot of tip width to
tip diameter ratio and inducer tip blade angle versus
the inducer to tip diameter ratio for several values of
diffusion ratio tanging from 0.65 to 0.85. The press-
ure ratio (total-to-total) and inducer tip Mach num-
ber are held constant for all diffusion values. It is
noteworthy that at each value of the diffusion ratio,
there is a maximum value of the tip width to tip
Fig. 2. Cross-section of a compressor stage. diameter ratio which occurs at an inducer angle of
approximately 30’. It should be mentioned here that
the choice of inducer tip angle is normally dictated by
The dimensionless mass flow parameter based on the
three considerations:
exit flow conditions:
(i) Machining requirements.
(ii) In order to increase the natural frequency of
the plate, it may be necessary to increase route

A W,/W, = 0.65,
b w2/w, = 0.75,
0 w2/wt = 0.069

I I I
0.1675 0.375 0.5625 0 I5
INDUCER TO TIP DIAMETER RATIO

Fig. 3. An impeller preliminary design chart.


A proposed design package for centrifugal impellers 351

thickness. The resulting blockage can be offset only c,,, = 0.6 - 0.9 (i 2 0)
by increasing &.
(iii) Specified mass flow. =0.6- 1.2 (i < 0).
It should be pointed out here that based on the stated
design constraints, it is not always possible to choose The blading loss as reported by the above mentioned
the optimum value of the inducer tip blade angle. At reference could be written as:
the end of this stage, the practical area of variation
of the geometrical and flow parameters could be
established. (lOa)

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS OPTIMIZATION-PROGRAM 2 where


Recently, considerable progress has been made in
the application of optimization techniques to prob-
lems involving a large number of variables and many
sophisticated optimization algorithms are now in
existence. In the present context however, the term
optimization is limited to those situations where the
measure of achievement can be quantified and can be In the above equation the following values may be
calculated, and where alternative courses of action selected:
can be represented by assigning different values of a
set of parameters X,, X,, , A’,,. It is therefore n = I; A = 0.46 (laminar)
necessary to have an objective function F(R) where ft
denotes the vector with elements X,, X,, , A’,,, and n = 6; A = 0.076 (turbulent)
the object is to determine the value of x which will
find the optimum value of F. The description of the
H= 1.18 - 1.3 (lOc)
algorithm is beyond the intended scope of this paper
but details may be found in Biggs [5, 61. In the present
paper, the optimization problem is given in such a
way that any non-linear programming algorithm r2 - rlrms h
could be used to achieve a numerical solution with CT= ; (104
2x +2x
such an approach, the time for preparing and solving 2- (r2 - Ylrmr
1 y (r2 + rlrma)
the problem is much shorter. However if the system 2 2
is too large and decomposition to smaller sub-systems
the Reynolds number (in eqn (lob)) is based on the
is necessary, other methods might be more appropri-
impeller tip conditions.
ate. The present optimization problem could be
The friction loss was calculated using the formula
stated by an objective function given by:
for the loss in smooth pipes, the friction factor
however was adjusted for impeller loss calculation
Max F(R) = )?lmpeller (6) with the following form:

subject to a set of equality and inequality constraints


given by: for R,>3 x IO’. (II)

h,(K)=0 i=l,2 (..., n


Disk friction loss as suggested by Dallenbach et al. [8]
h,(R)>0 J=n+l,n+2..‘m. is given by:
(7)

The design objective function is defined by:


Aq,, = (12a)
(Q/W - (Aq,,+ AqaL+ &,,I
F(%= speller =
(AqluS)+ Aq,,+ AYDF
where C, in the above expression could be defined as:
(8)
C, = 0.0622R$‘z (l2b)
The incidence loss is calculated using the formula
reported by Boyce [7] and could be written as:
and the recirculation loss proposed by the same
reference is given by:

(9)
By,, = 0.02 tan I? A, (l3a)
352 S. N. Al-Zubaidy

where the following optimized major principal dimensions


0.75 Aq were obtained (within the specified set of constraints):
*=I_;+
’ !5[5(, _$)+22]. (13b) Tip diameter = 152 mm

It should be mentioned here that more sophisticated Tip width = 6 mm


loss models (which are available in the published
literature) can be easily adapted and then be used to Hub diameter = 27.5 mm
give an estimate of various losses in the impeller.
The independent design variables in this paper
Inducer tip diameter = 88 mm
were chosen to be:

Inducer tip blade angle = 34


f%
l-1
Figure 4 follows the history of the optimization of the
rl objective function which is given by eqn (8). It can be
= b, (14) seen that the algorithm required only five iterations
L to obtain an optimum value of the objective func-
tions; the greatest increase in the value of the function
c2 was obtained in the first and second iteration, by the
W,V third iteration an optimum value was nearly found.
Having established the impeller overall dimensions,
subject to a set of equality constraints given by eqns the next step is to evaluate its detailed geometry.
(lH5).
In addition to the equality constraints, a set of
DIRECT DESIGN PROGRAM-PROGRAM 3
inequality constraints (mainly positivity constraints)
is also imposed, these constraints are imposed on the The detailed shape of the impeller flow channels
design to ensure a practical solution. (and hence the impeller geometry) may be obtained
For stated design requirements of: by using one of the following two approaches.
namely:
Mass flow rate = 1.0 kg/s
(i) The indirect design approach.
Pressure ratio = 6 : 1 (ii) The direct design approach.

0.6(
0 1 2 3 4
--I 5
ITERATION NUMBER.

Fig. 4. History of objective function optimization.


A proposed design package for centrifugal impellers 353

6mm
EK TIP THICKNESS
KIN

FRONT VIEW MERIDIONAL VIEW

BLADE CHAMBER UNE


(u

0
FLOW INLET STATION

FLOW EXIT STATION


IMPELLER AXIAL LENGTIi

2.
Fig. 5. Views of the designed impeller.

In the case of the indirect approach, a preliminary For a prescribed relative velocity distribution along
shape is produced on the basis of past experience. The the impeller axial length and with a knowledge of the
flow within the channels would be analysed by using spatial description of the mean-stream-line, then eqn
three-dimensional or quasi-three-dimensional flow (16) could be solved for the blade loading (i.e.
analysis. The velocity profile so obtained would be aP/aO x APjA0). The theoretical pressure rise along
examined for any irregularities, and the channel the flow path was calculated using the following
would be modified successively to arrive at acceptable eauation:
1

final velocity profiles. Apart from being very labori-


dP=;dZ+$dr+;dB
ous, time consuming and expensive in terms of com-
putational costs, the successful application of the
indirect approach depends largely on the experience
-gdZ +& +gdfX (18)
and engineering judgement of the designer.
The direct approach (which is used in this pack-
age), assumes that the acceptable velocity profile is Further details may be found in Al-Zubaidy [9]. The
known as a starting point. Hence, the aim would be geometrical output data from this program will be in
to arrive at a channel shape which would produce the the form of discrete points and therefore should be
specified velocity profile. fitted by a suitable curve fitting technique (e.g. cubic
The direct design approach used here is based on spline) in order to automate the design process. The
the solution of the equations of motion relative to the meridional view (r-Z plane), the front view and blade
rotating impeller using the assumption that all blade angle distribution of the designed impeller are shown
body forces are negligible and the flow is axisymmet- in Fig. 5. This figure has been drawn as a result of the
ric. The general forms of these equations in the Y, 0 output data from program 3. The impeller axial
and Z coordinates are: length was systematically optimized using the pro-
cedure proposed by Al-Zubaidy [IO].
dwr f+‘S 1 aP
02r -2wW,,= --7 (15)
dt r- P or FLOW ANALYSIS-PROGRAM 5

In recent years, several three-dimensional methods


(16)
have been developed in order to model the flow in
turbomachines and blade passages. These calculation
dW, lc?P procedures can be classified in quasi-three-dimen-
-= ---. (17)
dt P8Z sional and fully three-dimensional methods. The
354 S. N. Al-Zubaidy

% MERIDIONAL COORDINATE

Fig. 6. Velocity distribution of the design example

quasi-three-dimensional method (Katsanis [ 11, 121, example, assumes a predominant direction of flow
Hirsch and Warzee [13]) consists essentially of an and little influence of the down stream pressure field
iterative solution or two-dimensional flows on blade- on upstream flow conditions. Since effects spread
to-blade and through flow stream surfaces. They are only in the down stream direction, the equations can
based on inviscid calculations with superimposed loss be solved with a marching method even though the
models and eventually two-dimensional boundary flow is three-dimensional and the full equations are
layer calculations. Most of these methods are based elliptic. The partially parabolic methods also assume
on axisymmetric blade-to-blade stream surfaces. a predominant flow direction in which there is negli-
Hence, secondary flow effects and circumferential gible reverse flow. The cross stream pressure vari-
non-uniformities can not be handled properly. ations are not negligible and therefore downstream
The fully three-dimensional calculation on the effects are transmitted upstream via pressure.
other hand can be viscous and inviscid (Dodge [14], Taking into consideration computer time and the
Moore and Moore [15]). Recently several viscous required level of accuracy it was decided in this
approaches have been developed, besides the longer paper to use the quasi-three-dimensional program of
computer times they require, they are all based on Katsanis [ll, 121. The relative velocity and pressure
approximations limiting the class of flows that can be distribution of the design example are shown in Figs
calculated. The parabolic method developed by 6 and 7. It can be observed that both distributions are
Patank and Spalding [16] and Caretto et ul. [17]. for free of high localized gradients and the important

0.25 0.5 0.75 1 .o


% MERIDIONAL COORDINATE

Fig. 7. Pressure distribution of the design example.


A proposed design package for centrifugal impellers 355

1.2 r-

1.1
A RADIAL STRESS
1.0
A HOOP OR TANGENTIAL STRESS

0.9 0 BLADE STRESS

g 0.0
:
‘s 0.7

8 0.6
I
f 0.5
z
4 04

3; 0.3
E
IX 0.2

0.1

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.3 1I .c
RADIUS/ OUTLET RADIUS

Fig. 8. Blade stress distribution of the example design.

control of secondary flow is achieved by designing the the profile of the back face or by introducing the hub
radial-axial shape in such a way that the radial or both.
pressure gradients in the main flow will tend to
naturalize centrifugal pressure. Upon comparison CONCLUSIONS
with existing designs, the two distributions do fall in
The proposed CAD package has been used to
line with existing compressors that are known to have
generate the three-dimensional geometry of an
highly efficient impellers.
example design capable of handling 1 kg/set of air at
6: 1 pressure ratio; the isometric view of the design
STRESS ANALYSIS-PROGRAM 6 example is shown in Fig. 9. It can be observed that
the wall contours, blade shape and flow passages
The program used for the stress analysis of the
exhibit smooth and gradual variation throughout.
impeller was based on the work of Swanson [IQ
which is similar to the work of Schilhamsh [19] where
we replaced the finite difference equations with the
basic differential equations obtaining a solution using
a Runge-Kutta integration formula. The main as-
sumptions of the method are the following:

(i) In many meridional sections, a straight line


parallel to the axis re.nains straight after defor-
mation.
(ii) Shear and axial stresses are considered.
(iii) Shear and strain conditions at any point of the
disc are assumed independent of the angular position.
(iv) Displacement is assumed to be very small.
The above program was written in Fortran and then
used to predict stress levels of the design example.
The program is also suitable for running on an IBM
PC (AT) or compatibles. The output of this program
in the form of the distribution of the tangential and
radial stresses on the faces of the disc are shown in
Fig. 8. It should be mentioned that the values of the
stresses can be altered significantly either by changing Fig. 9. Isometric view of the example design.
356 S. N. Al-Zubaidy

From the results obtained it might be concluded that WADC Tech. Report 55-257. ASTIA Document No.
AD II0467 (1956).
use of the proposed procedure will sharply reduce the 9,
S. N. Al-Zubaidy, Advanced direct-design procedure
development time for the design and manufacture of for centrifugal impellers. AIAA J. Propuls. Power 9(l)
radial impellers. Work is currently underway to try to (Jan. -Feb., 1993).
manufacture the designed unit so that a comparative IO. S. N. Al-Zubaidy, Axial length influence on perform-
assessment test and eventual comparison can be ance of radial impellers. AIAA J. Prop&. Power 8(6)
(Nov. Dec.. 1992).
made.
II. T. Katsanis, Use of arbitrary quasi-orthogonals for
REFERENCES calculatrng flow distribution in the meridional plane of
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computer aided design and manufacture of radial tur- calculating flow distribution on a blade-to-blade surface
bine rotors. ASME paper No. 78-GT-156 (1978). in a turbomachine. NASA TN D-2809 (1965).
2. N. C. Baines, F. J. Wallace and A. Whitfield, A 13. Ch. Hirsch and G. Warzee, Quasi 3D finite element
computer aided design of mixed flow turbines for computation of flow in centrifugal compressors. ASME
turbochargers. J. Engng Power 101, 440449 (July. Symposium, 22nd Annual Gas Turbine Conf., New
1979). Orleans. pp. 69 75 (March, 1981).
3. P. M. Came, The development, application and exper- 14. P. R. Dodge. A numerical method for 2D and 3D
imental evaluation of a design procedure for centrifugal viscous Hews. AIAA paper No. 76-425 (1976).
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4. S. G. Al-Zubaidy, Computer Ii&g of programs which 3D viscous compressible duct How, Parts I and II.
can be used in a CAD procedure of centrifugal impellers J. Fluid Engng 101, 415428 (1979).
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(1991). procedure for heat, mass and momentum transfer in 3D
5. M. C. Biggs, In Numerical Melhod. for Non-Linear parabolic flows. hr. J. Heat Mass TramJer 15, 1787
Optimization (Edited by F. A. Lootsa), Chap. 29. (1972).
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6. M. C. Biggs, In Towards Global Opfimization (Edited by numerrcal methods for 3D boundary layers. Comp.
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7. M. P. Boyce, New development in compressors. Pro<,. Impeller. Australian Defence Scientific Service Note,
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