Influence of Blade Leading-Edge Shape on Cavitation in a Centrifugal Pump Impeller
Cavitation is an important issue in pumps and usually starts on the blade leading-edge. For fixed blades with constant rotational speeds and specific flow rates, the incident angle, which is between the flow direction and the blade installing direction, on the blade leading-edge plays the key role in the cavitation process. The leading-edge shape is crucial on the local flow separation, pressure distribution, and cavitation. Hence, the influence of the leading-edge shape on cavitation has been
... avitation has been studied in the current work in a centrifugal pump impeller. The blunt, sharp, ellipse and round leading-edge cases were compared using numerical simulation and verified by experimental data. Results show different features of cavitation. The round and ellipse leading-edge impellers have higher inception cavitation coefficient. It was caused by the sudden pressure drop on leading-edge arc or elliptical arc. The sharp and blunt leading-edge impellers have a wide flow-separation region on leading-edge with a wide low-pressure region. This is because of the sudden turn in geometry on the leading-edge corner. Cavitation grew quickly after inception and caused rapid head-drop in the sharp and blunt leading-edge impellers. Results suggest the critical cavitation performance is dominated by the leading-edge low-pressure area while the inception cavitation is mostly affected by the minimum pressure value on the leading-edge. The critical cavitation performance can be evaluated by checking the leading-edge low-pressure area. The inception cavitation can be evaluated by checking the minimum pressure value on the leading-edge. These strategies can be used in the further leading-edge designs.