Unsteady Flow Phenomena in Industrial Centrifugal Compressor Stage,
NUOVO PIGNONE S P A FLORENCE (ITALY)
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It is well known that rotating non-uniform flow pattern has a strong influence on high pressure centrifugal compressor vibrations. This paper shows the results of an experimental investigation on a typical centrifugal compressor stage running on an atmospheric pressure test rig. Unsteady flow was invariably observed at low flow well before surge. In order to determine the influence of the statoric components, the same impeller was repeatedly tested with the same vaneless diffuser, but varying return channel geometry. Experimental results show the strong effect exerted by the return channel, both on onset and on the behavior of unsteady flow.