Effect of semi-open impeller side clearance on centrifugal pump cavitation inception
Cavitation in pumps is the most severe condition that centrifugal pumps can work in and is leading to a loss in their performance. Herein, the effect of semi-open centrifugal pump side clearance on the inception of pump cavitation has been investigated. The input pump pressure has been changed from 80 to 16 kPa and the pump side clearance has been changed from 1 mm to 3 mm at a rotation speed of 1500 rpm. It has been shown that as the total input pressure decreased; the static pressure inside the impeller is reduced while the total pressure in streamwise direction has been reduced, also the pump head is constant with the reduction of the total input pressure until the cavitation is reached. Head is reduced due to cavitation inception; the head is reduced in the case of a closed impeller with a percent of 1.5% while it is reduced with a percent of 0.5% for pump side clearance of 1mm, both are at a pressure of 20 kPa. Results also showed that the cavitation inception in the pump had been affected and delayed with the increase of the pump side clearance; the cavitation has been noticed to occur at approximate pressures of 20 kPa for side clearance of 1mm, 18 kPa for side clearances of 2mm and 16 kPa for 3mm.