Numerical analysis of unsteady cavitating flow in an axial inducer
TypeArticles dans des revues avec comité de lecture
This work presents the results of numerical simulation of unsteady cavitating flow through a two–bladed axial inducer. First, the analysis was carried out in a blade cascade, this two–dimensional simplified model, obtained from the studied axial inducer, was used as a test case. Later, the numerical simulations were extended to the original three-dimensional inducer. All numerical calculations were realized in cavitating flow regime. Initially, the results were obtained in steady state, and then in unsteady state. The main purpose of this study is to explore the local cavitation instabilities, such as alternate blade cavitation and rotating blade cavitation, which can appear in this type of devices when they work under certain operating conditions. The numerical results show that the fluid flow in the axial inducer is altered by the emergence of the cavitation. These vapor regions are formed, firstly near to the leading edge of each blade. The behavior of the cavitation depends on the operating conditions of the inducer, mainly by the flow rate and the suction pressure. The numerical simulation was performed using a commercial code based on a cell–centered finite–volume method. The cavitation model used for calculations assumes a thermal equilibrium between phases. It is based on the classical conservation equations of the vapor phase and a mixture phase, with mass transfer due to the cavitation appearing as a source and a sink term in the vapor mass fraction equation. The mass transfer rate is derived from a simplified Rayleigh–Plesset model for bubble dynamics.
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