Abstract

Impeller rotation, vortex shedding, secondary flows or a combination of these phenomena can lead to the generation of acoustic waves in the compressor cascade causing dynamic pressure loading on the impeller. When the eigenfrequency and eigenmode shape of the acoustic mode match with the structural ones of the impeller, high fatigue stresses and vibrations occur, which can lead to structural failure. It is well known that cavities enclosing shrouded impellers may strongly amplify the acoustic excitation of the impeller by means of Tyler-Sofrin modes; however, little knowledge is available about the physics of flow-induced noise and resonance mechanisms. In this research, a Lattice Boltzmann Method based approach is employed to predict the origin and amplitude of pressure loading responsible for the strong impeller trailing edge vibrations measured in experiments. The results reveal that this is caused by the acoustic mode generated from the interaction of upstream vane wakes with the impeller that is reflected by the return channel vanes. This research highlights the importance of accounting for aeroacoustic mechanisms in the design of centrifugal compressor stages and paves the way towards the numerical assessment of unsteady flow and resonance phenomena.

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