An axial-flow pump has a relatively high discharge flow rate and specific speed at a relatively low head and it consists of an inlet guide vane, impeller, and outlet guide vane. The interaction of the flow through the inlet guide vane, impeller, and outlet guide vane of the axial-flow pump has a significant effect on its performance. Of those components, the guide vanes especially can improve the head and efficiency of the pump by transforming the kinetic energy of the rotating flow, which has a tangential velocity component, into pressure energy. Accordingly, the geometric configurations of the guide vanes such as blade thickness and angle are crucial design factors for determining the performance of the axial-flow pump. As the reliability of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been elevated together with the advance in computer technology, numerical analysis using CFD has recently become an alternative to empirical experiment due to its high reliability to measure the flow field. Thus, in this study, 1,200mm axial-flow pump having an inlet guide vane and impeller with 4 blades and an outlet guide vane with 6 blades was numerically investigated. Numerical study was conducted using the commercial CFD code, ANSYS CFX ver. 16.1, in order to elucidate the effect of the thickness and angle of the guide vanes on the performance of 1,200mm axial-flow pump. The stage condition, which averages the fluxes between interfaces and is accordingly appropriate for the evaluation of pump performance, was adopted as the interface condition between the guide vanes and the impeller. The rotational periodicity condition was used in order to enable a simplified geometry to be used since the guide vanes feature multiple identical regions. The shear stress transport (SST) k-ω model, predicting the turbulence within the flow in good agreement, was also employed in the CFD calculation. With regard to the numerical simulation results, the characteristics of the pressure distribution were discussed in detail. The pump performance, which will determine how well an axial-flow pump will work in terms of its efficiency and head, was also discussed in detail, leading to the conclusion on the optimal blade thickness and angle for the improvement of the performance. In addition, the total pressure loss coefficient was considered in order to investigate the loss within the flow paths depending on the thickness and angle variations. The results presented in this study may give guidelines to the numerical analysis of the axial-flow pump and the investigation of the performance for further optimal design of the axial-flow pump.

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