In order to characterize wastewater pumps regarding their clogging behaviour, a wide variety of test procedures with artificial wastewater exist. These tests provide a good insight into the clogging characteristics of a pump. However, conclusions about the clogging mechanisms and their sources cannot be drawn.
This paper deals with the design and implementation of an optical access on the suction side of a wastewater pump to allow visualisation of the interaction between impeller and textile via high-speed recordings. The optical access is realized by an endoscope and a connected high-speed camera with a frame rate of 2000 fps and a resolution of 1024 × 1024 pixels. To ensure sufficient illumination of the impeller, a light ring assembled from 12 high power LEDs with a luminous flux of 5595 lumen are circumferentially arranged around the suction side of the pump. The light ring concept is scalable to fit any pump size. A clogging-affine impeller is developed, 3D printed and used for experimental investigations. For the investigated impeller, the blade’s upper area is identified to be crucial for pump clogging. Optical accessibility provides an important contribution to develop non-clogging impellers.