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Cavitation Flow Through an Axial Inducer, CFD Simulation

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In this project, the fluid flow of water and the cavitation phenomenon around an inducer inside a pipe is simulated by ANSYS Fluent software.

This product includes a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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Cavitation Introduction

Cavitation phenomenon is one of the phenomena that vapor bubbles are formed in the part of the fluid whose pressure is low. Sometimes there is a misconception that the only reason for this phenomenon to occur and the formation of steam bubbles is because the liquid pressure reaches the vapor pressure (Pv). However, various other factors and parameters cause this phenomenon to occur. For example, speed is one of the useful parameters in creating this phenomenon. Cavitation occurs in different ways in pumps

  1. Vortex Cavitation
  2. Bubble Cavitation
  3. Attached Cavitation
  4. Blade Cavitation
  5. Partial Cavitation
  6. Super Cavitation
  7. Backflow Cavitation

The phenomenon of cavitation can cause many problems, including corrosion. Corrosion is very evident in the water pump. We identify this phenomenon by the sound produced and the mechanical vibration produced.

There are several ways to reduce this occurrence. One of the simplest methods is to increase the pumps’ inlet pressure by reducing the distance between the pump and the tank. Another way is to reduce the pressure drop and flow turbulence.

Project Description

Today, with the industry’s expansion, the need for pumps with smaller sizes and higher speeds is felt more. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the suction performance of pump impellers. Inducers are essential components installed in front of the main impeller to achieve higher suction performance in the pump and rotate at the same impeller speed. The inducer can increase the inlet pressure to the pump impellers and improve the pump’s suction performance. One of the most important phenomena that should be considered in pumps is the phenomenon of cavitation. One of the most essential reasons that inducers are used in pumps is to reduce cavitation.

In this project, the fluid flow of water and the cavitation phenomenon around an inducer inside a pipe is simulated by ANSYS Fluent software.

Inducer Geometry and Mesh

We model this project’s geometry in ANSYS Design Modeler software, and carry out its mesh by ANSYS Mashing software.

We can see the geometry and unstructured mesh in following Figure. Also, The total number of mesh cells is 938174.


Numerical Setup for Inducer Cavitation CFD Simulation:

In this simulation, we consider the following assumptions:

  1. Due to incompressibility, we implement the pressure-base solver.
  2. We perform this simulation as a steady-state.
  3. Alos, we ignore the gravity effect.

A frame motion tool with a rotational speed equal to 15000 rpm has been used to define the pump’s fluid rotation.

Complete information on boundary conditions is presented in Table 1 and following Figure.

Table 1. Table of Boundary conditions

Inlet Gauge total pressure: 5 atm & Normal to Boundary

Turbulent intensity (fraction) : 0.05

Turbulent Viscosity Ratio: 10


Outlet Pressure Outlet
Blade Stationary wall
Shroud Stationary wall


A coupled algorithm was applied in the pressure-velocity coupling, and   RNG model with standard near-wall treatment was chosen as a turbulence model. In this analysis, the two-phase VoF model was used to investigate the two-phase flow and cavitation phenomenon on the blades. Other settings such as the discretization method and initial conditions are listed in the table below:

Table 2. Table of other numerical setups

Multiphase( Volume of fluid) VOF
No. of Eulerian phases 2 (liquid and vapor)
Formulation Implicit
Gradient  Least square cell-based 
Pressure Presto!
Momentum Second-order upwind
Volume fraction Compressive
Modified turbulent visc. First-order upwind
Initialization method
Method Standard
Gauge pressure 0
X-Velocity 0
Y-Velocity 0
Z-Velocity 0
k 0
Epsilon 0
Vapor volume fraction 0

Results & Discussions

Although the tutorial video thoroughly explains how to extract the results, In this section, as in the last section, contours of pressure, vapor and water volume fraction, velocity, sigma, and streamlines are presented in figures 3-10.

The results show that as the fluid enters the inducers, the pressure increases. If this inducer is connected to a pump, it is the output pressure and the maximum inducer pressure that the impellers have. The suction pressure at the back of the inducer has increased, which improves the pump’s suction performance. Velocity contours and Streamlines show that the velocity near the inducer has its maximum, which is due to the angular velocity in this part. Also, the volume fraction contours show that cavitation has decreased. Also, the velocity contours show that cavitation has decreased. Because its amount for water on the inducer is more than steam.

There are a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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