Double-volute is an effective technique to reduce radial hydraulic force on the centrifugal pump and thereby mitigate the pump-casing vibration induced by unsteady flow characteristics. The mechanism of the double-volute structure balancing radial force on the impeller and volute was investigated on the basis of volute cross-sections by using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method. The tested performances and simulated inner-flow characteristics of two pumps with single-volute and double-volute were compared in this paper. The performance-test results verify the veracity of CFD method and illustrate that double-volute pump has some losses in terms of pump head and operation efficiency. The numerical simulations reveal that double-volute pump has smaller radial-force magnitude than single-volute pump on the abnormal conditions. Steady pressure field and transient pressure variations of pumps were explored to account for radial-force characteristics of double-volute pump. Compared with the single-volute structure, obvious pressure increases were found in the upper chamber (single part) of the double-volute, while the static pressure decreased in the lower chamber (double chambers). This situation reduces the pressure difference between two volute cross-sections in the collinear radial direction, resulting in smaller radial hydraulic force. Moreover, the transient simulations present the same phenomenon. The radial-forces distribute more uniformly in the double-volute pump, which can alleviate some vibrations.
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