The effect of the hydraulic force on magnetically levitated (maglev) pumps should be studied carefully to improve the suspension performance and the reliability of the pumps. A maglev centrifugal pump, developed at Ibaraki University, was modeled with 926 376 hexahedral elements for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses. The pump has a fully open six-vane impeller with a diameter of 72.5 mm. A self-bearing motor suspends the impeller in the radial direction. The maximum pressure head and flow rate were 250 mmHg and 14 l/min, respectively. First, a steady-state analysis was performed using commercial code STAR-CD to confirm the model's suitability by comparing the results with the real pump performance. Second, transient analysis was performed to estimate the hydraulic force on the levitated impeller. The impeller was rotated in steps of 1° using a sliding mesh. The force around the impeller was integrated at every step. The transient analysis revealed that the direction of the radial force changed dynamically as the vane's position changed relative to the outlet port during one circulation, and the magnitude of this force was about 1 N. The current maglev pump has sufficient performance to counteract this hydraulic force. Transient CFD analysis is not only useful for observing dynamic flow conditions in a centrifugal pump but is also effective for obtaining information about the levitation dynamics of a maglev pump.
- Centrifugal pump
- Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis
- Magnetically suspended pump
- Rotary blood pump
- Transient analysis