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The Influence of Swirl Brakes and a Tip Discharge Orifice on the Rotordynamic Forces Generated by Discharge-to-Suction Leakage Flows in Shrouded Centrifugal Pumps

Sivo, J. M. and Acosta, A. J. and Brennen, C. E. and Caughey, T. K. (1993) The Influence of Swirl Brakes and a Tip Discharge Orifice on the Rotordynamic Forces Generated by Discharge-to-Suction Leakage Flows in Shrouded Centrifugal Pumps. In: Eleventh Workshop for Computational Fluid Dynamic Applications in Rocket Propulsion. NASA Conference Publication. Vol.1. No.CP-322. National Aeronautics and Space Administration , Washington, DC, USA, pp. 339-361.

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Recent experiments conducted in the Rotor Force Test Facility at the California Institute of Technology have examined the effects of a tip leakage restriction and swirl brakes on the rotordynamic forces due to leakage flows on an impeller undergoing a prescribed circular whirl. The experiments simulate the leakage flow conditions and geometry of the Alternate Turbopump Design (ATD) of the Space Shuttle High Pressure Oxygen Turbopump and are critical to evaluating the pump's rotordynamic instability problems. Previous experimental and analytical results have shown that discharge-to-suction leakage flows in the annulus of a shrouded centrifugal pump contribute substantially to the fluid induced rotordynamic forces. Also, previous experiments have shown that leakage inlet (pump discharge) swirl can increase the cross-coupled stiffness coefficient and hence increase the range of positive whirl for which the tangential force is destabilizing. In recent experimental work, the present authors demonstrated that when the swirl velocity within the leakage path is reduced by the introduction of ribs or swirl brakes, then a substantial decrease in both the destabilizing normal and tangential forces could be achieved. Motivation for the present research is that previous experiments have shown that restrictions such as wear rings or orifices at pump inlets affect the leakage forces. Recent pump designs such as the Space Shuttle Alternate Turbopump Design (ATD) utilize tip orifices at discharge for the purpose of establishing axial thrust balance. The ATD has experienced rotordynamic instability problems and one may surmise that these tip discharge orifices may also have an important effect on the normal and tangential forces in the plane of impeller rotation. The present study determines if such tip leakage restrictions contribute to undesirable rotordynamic forces. Additional motivation for the present study is that the widening of the leakage path annular clearance and the installation of swirl brakes in the ATD has been proposed to solve its instability problems. The present study assesses the effect of such a design modification on the rotordynamic forces. The experimental apparatus consists of a solid or dummy impeller, a housing instrumented for pressure measurements, a rotating dynamometer and an eccentric whirl mechanism. The solid impeller is used so that leakage flow contributions to the forces are measured, but the main throughflow contributions are not experienced. The inner surface of the housing has been modified to accommodate meridional ribs or swirl brakes within the leakage annulus. In addition, the housing has been modified to accommodate a discharge orifice that qualitatively simulates one side of the balance piston orifice of the Space Shuttle ATD. Results indicate the detrimental effects of a discharge orifice and the beneficial effects of brakes. Plots of the tangential and normal forces versus whirl ratio show a substantial increase in these forces along with destabilizing resonances at some positive whirl ratios when a discharge orifice is added. When brakes are added, some of the detrimental effects of the orifice are reduced. For the tangential force, a plot versus whirl ratio shows a significant reduction and a destabilizing resonance appears to be eliminated. For the normal force, although the overall force is not reduced, again a destabilizing resonance appears to be eliminated.

Item Type:Book Section
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Series Name:NASA Conference Publication
Issue or Number:CP-322
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:SIVcfdarp93
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:148
Deposited By: Christopher Brennen
Deposited On:01 Nov 2004
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 22:29

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