In order to clarify effects of wear-ring clearance on the performance of high-speed centrifugal pump, a centrifugal pump with speed of 38 500 r/min is studied. Firstly, 16 cases are generated by combining the clearances of the front and rear wear-rings with 0.01 mm increment, then the performance of the pumps with these wear-ring clearances is predicted by means of numerical simulation. The results show that when the rear wear-ring clearance is smaller, the efficiency and shaft power are more sensitive to the change in the front wear-ring clearance. Likewise, when the front wear-ring clearance is kept smaller, the efficiency and shaft power are sensitive to the change in the rear wear-ring clearance too. The head of pump decreases with increasing rear wear-ring clearance at a constant front wear-ring clearance. However, the head rises slightly with increasing front wear-ring clearance at a constant rear wear-ring clearance. Even though the leakage through the front and rear wear-ring gaps decreases with increasing flow rate whatever both the clearances are, the efficiency and head are lower, and the head varies more significantly against flow rate with two increasing clearances. The hydraulic resistance in a wear-ring gap is mainly to generate a liquid static pressure drop because the velocity of liquid does not change obviously at the wear-ring outlet. With the increase of wear-ring clearance, the static pressure drop and dynamic pressure at an axial position rise in the wear-ring clearance.
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