The interaction between impeller blades and diffuser vanes in a diffuser pump was investigated. Steady and unsteady pressure measurements were taken on the diffuser vanes, and the shroud wall of a vaned and a vaneless diffuser. Steady, unsteady, and ensemble-averaged unsteady data, as well as frequency spectra, are presented. The measurements were made for different flow coefficients, shaft speeds, and radial gaps between impeller blade trailing and diffuser vane leading edge (1.5 and 4.5 percent based on impeller discharge radius). The resulting lift on the vane, both steady and unsteady, was computed from the pressure measurements at midvane height. The magnitude of the fluctuating lift was found to be greater than the steady lift. The pressure fluctuations were larger on the suction side than on the pressure side attaining their maximum value, of the same order of magnitude as the total pressure rise across the pump, near the leading edge. Pressure fluctuations were also measured across the span of the vane, and those near the shroud were significantly smaller than those near the hub. The pressure fluctuations on the shroud wall itself were larger for the vaned diffuser than a vaneless diffuser. Lift, vane pressure, and shroud wall pressure fluctuations decreased strongly with increasing radial gap.

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