Numerical study of cavitating flow inside a flush valve
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
In water supply installations, noise pollution often occurs. As a basic component of a system, a flush valve may frequently be a source of noise and vibration generated by cavitation or high turbulence levels. During valve closing or valve opening, cavitation can be a problem. In order to decrease the noise and to improve the design inside a flush valve, some experimental and numerical analyses were carried out in our laboratories. These analyses led to some improvements in the design of the valves. Cavitation occurrence was more specifically addressed, using numerical simulation, and this is the main aim of the present paper. Particularly, the use of a simplified numerical test without cavitation model is compared with one using a cavitation model. In order to define potential cavitation risks in some parts of the valve, it has been found that a simplified approach provides an accurate overview. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of cavitating flow of water through an industrial flush valve were performed using the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations with a near-wall turbulence model. The flow was assumed turbulent, incompressible and steady. Two commercial CFD codes (Fluent 6.3 and Star CCM+ 3.04.009) were used to analyse the effects of inlet pressure as well as mesh size and mesh type on cavitation intensity in the flush valve.
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