Abstract Three types of blade leading edge shapes, namely basic plan, i.e. the edge is convex towards impeller eye like ordinary centrifugal pump impellers, semi-convex and semi-concave types, were proposed based on the same cross-sectional area at the edge to investigate their influences on performance of a micro-high-speed centrifugal cooling pump. The hydraulic performance and pressure pulsation of the pump were calculated numerically by making use of the SST k-ω turbulence model, and the performance was analyzed comparatively against the corresponding data tested. The results indicated that the simulated hydraulic performance is in good agreement with the tested values and the numerical method and flow model adopted are applicable to the pump. In addition, there are vortices in the impeller passages which are far from the volute diffuser in three plans. Compared with the basic plan, both the head and the efficiency are improved but also the efficiency curve is the most flatty around the best efficiency point in the semi-concave plan. The turbulent kinetic energy distribution near the blade leading and trailing edges is more satisfactory, and the highest circumferential component of absolute velocity at the impeller exit is observed, too. The peak pressure pulsation amplitudes in the volute appear at blade passing frequency and its multipliers, and they decay with increasing distance to the volute tongue in three plans. In the semi-concave plan, however, the peak pulsation amplitudes have reduced even more, exhibiting a favorable condition to stable operations for the pump. These results can provide reference for optimal design of micro-high-speed centrifugal pumps.
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