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In this tutorial, we simulate the flow in a centrifugal pump with back-swept blades.

model consists of the volute, the inlet pipe, the impeller, and the rotating region:

For reference, this is the impeller:

The rotating region is a volume that completely surrounds the impeller, and is the interface
between rotating components and surrounding stationary objects.

This is the rotating region:

Water is the working fluid, and the impeller spins at 600 RPM. We operate the pump at the
zero head state (maximum flow rate). A head loss can be imposed on the pump by
assigning a positive gage pressure boundary condition to the outlet or a negative gage
pressure to the inlet.

During the analysis, the impeller rotates within the stationary volute. This allows us to study
the effects of the blade-pass interaction with the volute.

Approximately four complete revolutions are needed for a steady state result. At the
beginning of the analysis, we will slowly ramp up the rotational speed to ensure stability and
solution accuracy. Once the impeller is rotating at the desired speed, we will use a time step
that causes the impeller to rotate through one blade passage per time step.
NoteThis tutorial requires the Motion Module.
Key Topics Open the centrif-pump assembly in your CAD system from the appropriate folder. The
folder location depends on the operating system:
Turbo Machinery analysis using a Rotating Region material
Windows 7:
Transient Analysis

Non-impulsive start-up technique ProgramData\Autodesk\Simulation CFD <version> \Tutorials\ CAD \centrif-pump

Time step size selection equal to single blade passage or

Goals ProgramData\Autodesk\Simulation CFD 360 <version> \Tutorials\ CAD \centrif-

Identify the flow distribution within the blade passages The ProgramData folder is not accessible by default. To access it in Windows 7:
Animate development of flow through the pumps
Note: CAD is one of the following CAD systems:
Determine the flow rate at zero head (this is the maximum flow rate)
Autodesk Inventor
Next Autodesk Inventor Fusion

Topics in this section UGNX (the model is a part in UGNX)

Launch the Pump Geometry PTC Creo (or Pro/Engineer) with Granite Launch Configuration
Analysis Units SolidWorks
Assign the Water Material
Assign the Aluminum Material
Create the Rotating Region Material
NoteIf you use a CAD tool not included in this list, you should open the Fusion version of the
Assign the Rotating Region Material model in Autodesk Inventor Fusion.
To launch from CAD
Assign Boundary Conditions
To launch from a file (Parasolid or Acis)
Assign Mesh Sizes Automatically To launch from Autodesk Inventor Fusion
Make the Mesh on the Rotating Region Uniform
Back | Next
Velocity Results
If launching from Autodesk Inventor, Pro/Engineer, SolidWorks, or SpaceClaim, the model
Animate Velocity Results
units for this example are set automatically to mm. No further steps are necessary for
Volume Flow Rate length unit assignment.

If launching from the other CAD tools or from the Desktop, change the length units to mm
by right clicking on the Geometry branch of the Design Study Bar:
Click Materials from the Setup tab:

Select the volute and the inlet pipe

On the Change Units dialog, leave Change Units checked, and click OK:

NoteThis dialog does not appear when launching with the Mechanica method from

Back | Next

Open the Materials quick edit dialog in ONE of the following ways:

Click Edit from the toolbar:

Click Edit from the Materials context panel:

Select the impeller.

On the Material quick edit dialog, Type = Fluid

Name = Water

Open the Materials quick edit dialog in ONE of the following ways:

Click Apply. Click Edit from the toolbar:

Back | Next

Click Edit from the Materials context panel:

On the Material quick edit dialog, Type = Solid.

Name = Aluminum
To open the Material quick edit dialog, click Edit from the Materials context menu:

Change the Type to Rotating Region

On the Material line, Click Edit...

Enter the name rotor in the Name field

Select My Materials from the Save to database menu.

Verify the Scenario Type is Known Rotational Speed

Click Apply.
Click the Rotational Speed button.
Back | Next
Variation Method = Table

Rotational Speed Units = RPM; Time Units = second

Rotational Speed = 0; Time = 0

Rotational Speed = 600; Time = 0.75

Rotational Speed = 600; Time = 100

Click Apply.
Hide the impeller part

Click Save. Select the rotating region

Click OK.
NoteThe values in the table are designed to ramp up the rotational speed of the impeller
gradually to avoid an impulsive start. This technique often reduces analysis instability, and
improves overall accuracy of the solution.

For more about Rotating Region Materials

For more about non-impulsive startup

Back | Next
On the Axis of Rotation line, click the ... button

Click Z, and the -/+ button

NoteThis specifies the axis of rotation to be in the 0, 0, -1 direction

Click Apply.

Back | Next
Open the Materials quick edit dialog in ONE of the following ways:

Click Edit from the toolbar:

Click Edit from the Materials context panel:

Material DB Name = My Materials

Type = Rotating Region

Name = rotor
Click Boundary Conditions from the Setup tab:

Click Edit from the Boundary Conditions context panel:

Select the inlet.

Type = Pressure
Select the outlet.
Unit = Pa; Pressure = 0

Click Apply.

Back | Next

Open the Boundary Conditions quick edit dialog in ONE of the following ways:

Click Edit from the context toolbar:

Click Mesh Sizing from the Setup tab:

Apply Automatic mesh sizing in ONE of the following ways:

Left click, and click Autosize from the context toolbar:

Click Autosize on the Automatic Sizing context panel:

NoteThe result should look like this:

Back | Next
For Rotating Analyses, it is often useful to ensure that the mesh on the Rotating Region is
uniform. This prevents artificial gradients in the flow due to mesh size variations.

Hide the impeller part

To modify the mesh sizing, do ONE of the following:

Click Edit from the context toolbar:

Select the Rotating Region

Click Edit from the Automatic Sizing context panel:

Click the Use Uniform button

Adjust the Size Adjustment slider to approximately 2

Click Solve from the Setup tab:

Verify that the Solution Mode = Transient.

NoteTo run several complete rotations quickly, we will use a time step size such that the
impeller rotates through a complete blade passage with every time step.

To determine the time step size, click the ... button on the Time Step Size line.

Click Number of Blades, and enter 4. Click the Calculate button. This sets the time step
size to be 0.025 seconds.

Click Apply changes.

Click Spread Changes.

Save Intervals_Results = 4.
For more about the Use Uniform button
Time Steps to run = 70.
Back | Next
Click the Results tab.

In this step, we examine the velocity results using a cutting plane and vectors.

Cut planes show results on a slice through the model. Use them to gain a comprehensive
understanding of the flow. Use vectors to show the velocity direction and magnitude
throughout the device.

Click Planes from the Results tab:

NoteThis allows the impeller to complete ten revolutions at full speed. The first 30 time
steps are for the non-impulsive start-up.

Click Solve to start the analysis.

To create a Plane, click Add on the Planes context panel:
For more about time step selection for Rotating analyses

As the mesh is created, informational messages are displayed in the Output Bar. After the
mesh is completed, the analysis runs.

Back | Next

To orient the plane, left click on it, and click this icon from the context toolbar:

To move the plane, drag the triad axis normal to the plane.
Animating results provides a time-history of the results. In this case, it is a very useful way
to understand how the flow develops within the pump. Animating helps us to understand
how the flow evolves and how long it takes the pump to achieve steady-state.

To open the Animation dialog, right click off the model, and select Animation.

Click the Animate button.

Click the Play button to animate the results.

Back | Next To stop the animation, click the Stop button.

To clear the Active Results list, click the Reset button.

NoteBecause the time step was equal to the amount of time for a single passage to rotate,
you will not see the rotation of the impeller as the results are animated. You will, however,
see the velocity develop through the impeller, and move into the volute.

Back | Next
In this step, we will use Summary Planes and the Critical Values section of the Decision
Center to assess the volume flow rate at the current operating point.

Left click on the plane, and click the Surface Align icon. Select the inlet surface.

NoteView the Summary Plane data on the Critical Values tab of the Output Bar.

Congratulations! You have completed the exercise. Click here to return to the Tutorials Title


To make the plane a Summary Plane, click Make Summary in the Planes context panel:

To start comparing results, click Decision Center in the Quick Access toolbar:

In the Decision Center, right click on Critical Values, and click Update critical values.