Volutes have significant impact on the generation and propagation of flow-induced noise in centrifugal pumps. A volute with rectangular cross-section is designed to replace the original one with horseshoe-shaped cross section; subsequently, fluid dynamics simulation and acoustics computation are carried out in a centrifugal pump which is composed of the same impeller and either newly designed or original volute. The generation and propagation of flow-induced noise in the pump is solved by using a hybrid algorithm in which large eddy simulation and acoustic finite element analysis are combined based on the Lighthill acoustic analogy theory. The effects of cut-water of the volute on the pump head, efficiency and acoustic performance are also analyzed by employing two cut-water shapes, namely sharp and round edges. Some simulation results are verified by the existing experimental data. The analysis results show that both kinds of volute produce a similar hydraulic performance and result in a 290 Hz dominating frequency, i.e. blade passing frequency, for the noise. The volute with rectangular cross-section exhibits a better flow pattern than that with horseshoe-shaped cross-section according to the pressure contours, velocity vector distribution and flow direction inside the two pumps. Further the volute with rectangular cross-section lowers the averaged sound pressure level by 5 dB, showing an improved acoustic performance. Compared with the volute with sharp edge cut-water, the volute with round edge cut-water not only demonstrates a better hydraulic performance, but also possesses a more attractive acoustic behavior in account of 4 dB averaged sound pressure level reduction.
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