In recent years, increasing attention has been given to fluid-structure interaction problems in turbomachines. The present research focuses on just one such fluid-structure interaction problem, namely, the role played by fluid forces in determining the rotordynamic stability and characteristics of a centrifugal pump. The emphasis of this study is to investigate the contributions to the rotordynamic forces from the discharge-to-suction leakage flows between the front shroud of the rotating impeller and the stationary pump casing. An experiment was designed to measure the rotordynamic shroud forces due to simulated leakage flows for different parameters such as flow rate, shroud clearance, face-seal clearance and eccentricity. The data demonstrate substantial rotordynamic effects and a destabilizing tangential force for small positive whirl frequency ratios; this force decreased with increasing flow rate. The rotordynamic forces appear to be inversely proportional to the clearance and change significantly with the flow rate. Two sets of data taken at different eccentricities yielded quite similar nondimensional rotordynamic forces indicating that the experiments lie within the linear regime of eccentricity.

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