Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis has been used to solve the unsteady three-dimensional viscous flow in the entire impeller and volute casing of a centrifugal pump. The results of the calculations are used to predict the impeller/volute interaction and to obtain the unsteady pressure distribution in the impeller and volute casing. The calculated unsteady pressure distribution is used to determine the unsteady blade loading. The calculations at the design point and at two off-design points are carried out with a multiple frame of reference and a sliding mesh technique is applied to consider the impeller/volute interaction. The results obtained show that the flow in the impeller and volute casing is periodically unsteady and confirm the circumferential distortion of the pressure distribution at the impeller outlet and in the volute casing. Due to the interaction between impeller blades and the tongue of the volute casing the flow is characterized by pressure fluctuations, which are strong at the impeller outlet and in the vicinity of the tongue. These pressure fluctuations are died away in the casing as the advancement angle increases. These reduced pressure fluctuations are spread to the discharge nozzle; the pressure fluctuations are also reflected to the impeller inlet and they affect the mass flow rate through the blade passages.

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