Title page for ETD etd-06302009-040325

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lupi, Alessandro
URN etd-06302009-040325
Title CFD analysis and redesign of centrifugal impeller flows for rocket pumps
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Brown, Eugene F. Committee Member
Dancey, Clinton L. Committee Member
Moore, John Committee Member
  • Rocket engines
Date of Defense 1993-12-05
Availability restricted

The analysis and redesign of a centrifugal impeller for a rocket pump is presented in this thesis. A baseline impeller was designed by Rocketdyne for the NASA Marshall Pump Consortium. Initially, the objective was to reduce the circumferential exit flow distortion of the baseline impeller. Later in the study, the objective became raising the head coefficient of the impeller. The study presented in this thesis was also undertaken to demonstrate current CFD capabilities for impeller design.

A literature review includes an overview of centrifugal impeller geometries and configurations. Centrifugal impeller performance and secondary flows are discussed, and a summary of studies on the effects of impeller exit and diffuser inlet velocity distortion on diffuser performance is also presented.

The flow calculation details and the results of the baseline impeller flow calculations are described. Fourteen redesigned impeller geometries were analyzed using the Moore Elliptic Flow Program, and the results were compared to the baseline geometry in terms of head rise, losses, and exit flow distortions. A final geometry was chosen; this geometry will be built and tested by Rocketdyne.

The results show that backward blade lean can be effective in red ucing the exit flow distortion of the impeller. Tip slots or holes were not beneficial because of the large inlet boundary layer. Also, it appears possible to raise the head coefficient of the baseline impeller without creating excessive flow distortion. The planned testing is necessary to verify the predictions of the flow code.

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