The paper proposes a CFD approach for the simulation of a swash-plate axial piston pump including the full 3D geometry of the real component.

Different meshing techniques are integrated in order to reproduce all the internal motions of the pump. The overset mesh procedure is used to simulate the dynamic evolution in regions’ shape and the variable orientation between parts in the piston-slipper ball joints while the alternating motion of the piston is accounted for by sliding interfaces with the neighboring regions.

The multiple dynamics of the different moving elements are implemented in terms of superposing motions in order to reproduce the real position time histories as a function of the rotational speed and the swash plate inclination angle.

The proposed numerical model includes all the leakages that characterize the coupling of the many components of the pump and nominal values are assumed (i.e. 10μm) throughout the entire simulation.

A pressure-dependent fluid density approach is adopted to improve the performance prediction of the pump under real operating conditions. Moreover, the turbulent behavior of the flow is addressed by means of the two equation k-omega SST model.

Therefore the proposed modeling approach highlights the capabilities to address any type of swash-plate axial piston pump in order to simulate the entire machine under dynamic operations; the numerical results are discussed in terms of flow ripple, pressure distribution and fluid-dynamic forces.

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