Under the part-load conditions, the flow instability in a mixed-flow pump could lead to strong pressure fluctuations and vibrations, posing a great threat to the safety of the system. The current paper investigates effect of the forward skew blade angle on the positive slope characteristic in a high specific speed mixed flow pump using Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations coupled with the SST k-? model. The simulation results are compared with the experimental data and show good accordance. In the present study, five types of the mixed-flow pumps with different skew blade angles are prepared based on the conventional pump. It is found that with the increasing of the skew angle, the positive slope region becomes wider and moves towards a deeper part-load region. Further investigations are carried out by calculating the impeller head. Results depict that compared with the dynamic pressure head H d, the static pressure head H st plays more significant role in the formulation of the positive slope characteristic (PSC). Besides, the relative static pressure head H rel drops dramatically while the pump operates under the positive slope region, which matches with the pump performance well. Finally, analysis on the spanwise velocity profiles are further investigated in this paper, and results indicate that the flow accumulated near the impeller hub is one of the reasons to alleviate the head drop and shift the positive slope region to a deeper part-load condition.
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