Performance evaluation and cfd analysis of a positive displacement diaphragm pump

Gökçe, Gökay
In order to understand flow characteristics inside a positive displacement pump, every point in the flow field must be carefully observed. Such observations are difficult, expensive and usually time consuming to achieve with physical testing. During tests one can observe flow characteristics only at the locations where the instrument device is attached, not the whole flow domain. This thesis mainly focuses on the evaluation of design and performance characteristics of a positive displacement triplex diaphragm pump. For this purpose not only numerical investigations but also experimental studies were conducted using a positive displacement pump which is supplied by the pump manufacturer and is available in the fluid mechanics laboratory of Middle East Technical University. The effect of valve characteristics on the pump efficiency such as valve spring stiffness, valve displacement, mass of the check valves, and diaphragm shape are investigated in this thesis by using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) technique. The pump performance is analyzed in terms of its volumetric and hydraulic efficiencies. The effect of the valve closure delay is also discussed. After the CFD and experimental results of the current pump model are compared and it is seen that they are in close agreement with each other, parametric studies are performed in computer environment. From analysis results it is observed that using stiffer springs reduces valve closing time and tend to decrease flow reversal effects. Secondly, using heavier check valves increases valve closing and opening times and also increases the stresses on the components of the pump with the increased pressure drop through discharge valve. As a result of this condition, hydraulic and volumetric efficiency reduce. Thirdly, with the longer valve displacement arrangement, more time is required for opening and closing of the check valves therefore efficiency of the pump reduces.
Citation Formats
G. Gökçe, “Performance evaluation and cfd analysis of a positive displacement diaphragm pump,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.