Experimental analysis of flow structure in contra-rotating axial flow pump designed with different rotational speed concept

Linlin Cao, Satoshi Watanabe, Toshiki Imanishi, Hiroaki Yoshimura, Akinori Furukawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


As a high specific speed pump, the contra-rotating axial flow pump distinguishes itself in a rear rotor rotating in the opposite direction of the front rotor, which remarkably contributes to the energy conversion, the reduction of the pump size, better hydraulic and cavitation performances. However, with two rotors rotating reversely, the significant interaction between blade rows was observed in our prototype contra-rotating rotors, which highly affected the pump performance compared with the conventional axial flow pumps. Consequently, a new type of rear rotor was designed by the rotational speed optimization methodology with some additional considerations, aiming at better cavitation performance, the reduction of blade rows interaction and the secondary flow suppression. The new rear rotor showed a satisfactory performance at the design flow rate but an unfavorable positive slope of the head - flow rate curve in the partial flow rate range less than 40% of the design flow rate, which should be avoided for the reliability of pump-pipe systems. In the present research, to understand the internal flow field of new rear rotor and its relation to the performances at the partial flow rates, the velocity distributions at the inlets and outlets of the rotors are firstly investigated. Then, the boundary layer flows on rotor surfaces, which clearly reflect the secondary flow inside the rotors, are analyzed through the limiting streamline observations using the multi-color oil-film method. Finally, the unsteady numerical simulations are carried out to understand the complicated internal flow structures in the rotors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thermal Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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