In this paper, the tip leakage vortex (TLV) structures in an axial flow pump were investigated by numerical and experimental methods. Based on the comparisons of different blade tip clearance size (i.e., 0.5 mm, 1mm and 1.5mm) and different flow rate conditions, TLV trajectories were obtained by Swirling Strength method, and simulated by modified SST k-ω turbulence model with refined high-quality structured grids. A high-speed photography test was carried out to capture the tip leakage vortex cavitation in an axial flow pump with transparent casing. Numerical results were compared with the experimental leakage vortex trajectories, and a good agreement is presented. The detailed trajectories show that the start point of tip leakage vortex appears near the leading edge at small flow rate, and it moves from trailing edge to about 30% chord span at rated flow rate. At the larger flow rate condition, the starting point of TLV shifts to the middle of chord, and the direction of TLV moves parallel to the blade hydrofoil. As the increasing of the tip size, the start point of TLV trajectories moves to the central of chord and the minimum pressure in vortex core is gradually reduced.

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