Tutorial: Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT

Introduction
This tutorial illustrates how to setup and run a vane pump analysis in FLUENT 6.3. This tutorial demonstrates how to do the following: • Create an initial mesh. • Set up a problem for a dynamic mesh. • Specify the motion of dynamic zones using a compiled user-defined function (UDF). • Preview the dynamic mesh before starting the calculation. • Perform transient dynamic mesh calculation. • Postprocess the resulting data.

Prerequisites
This tutorial assumes that you are familiar with the FLUENT interface. Some of he basic steps in the setup and solution procedures will not the basic steps in the setup and solution procedures will not be shown explicitly. You should be familiar with the dynamic mesh model and UDFs. Refer to the FLUENT 6.3 User’s Guide and the FLUENT UDF Manual for more information.

Problem Description
A vane pump consists of a rotor with radial slots positioned off-center in a housing bore. A generic vane pump geometry is shown in Figure 2, where the rotor and housing are both circular. Vanes that fit closely in rotor slots slide in and out as the rotor turns. Pumping action is caused by the expanding and contracting volumes contained by the rotor, vanes and housing.

c Fluent Inc. January 31, 2007

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Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT

Meshing Requirements
In this tutorial, a UDF is used to dynamically move the mesh at each time step. Hence, follow some specific meshing rules so that both the initial mesh and all subsequent motion is correct. With this meshing process, the pump core can be meshed with a high aspect ratio map mesh scheme. Each mesh node displacement is composed of a solid body rotation and a radial translation. The node displacement is a function of eccentricity, rotational speed, and rotor/housing diameters. The pump gap (if created) is also meshed and moved in a similar manner to the core. The meshing requirements (Figure 1) are as follows: • Rotation must be about the z-axis. • The origin must be located on the cylindrical axis of the rotor (i.e., the small circle). • The pump housing (i.e., the large circle or profile) must be placed to the left of the rotor and have a y-coordinate equal to zero. • If pump contains gaps, one gap must be placed on the positive x axis. • The vanes must be equally spaced. • The pump core must be defined as a single fluid zone. • If the pump contains gaps, all the gaps must be defined as a single fluid zone.

Figure 1: Meshing Requirements

R r d w g

= = = = =

radius of pump housing (if applicable), housing may be a profile radius of rotor offset vane width gap width

2

c Fluent Inc. January 31, 2007

Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT

The schematic of the pump is shown in Figure 2. The meshed vane pump geometry of the circular housing is shown in Figure 3. The pump core is meshed with a map mesh scheme. The pump gaps are meshed using a high aspect ratio map mesh scheme. The inlet and outlet pipes are meshed with a tetrahedral mesh. The gaps and inlet/outlet pipes are connected to the pump core using non-conformal grid interfaces.

Figure 2: Problem Schematic

Figure 3: Meshed Vane Pump (Circular Housing)

c Fluent Inc. January 31, 2007

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. Copy the files circle-pump. January 31. Start the 3D (3d) version of FLUENT. File −→ Read −→Case. vane. 4 c Fluent Inc. Note: The input file must be called input. 2007 .msh.. Read the mesh file circle-pump.msh.. input.c.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Figure 4: Mesh Detail for Single Vane Preparation 1.c to your working folder. and oil den. FLUENT will read the file and report the progress in the console..txt and must be located in the same folder as the case file. Change the grid units to mm. Grid −→Scale. 2. Setup and Solution (Case 1) Step 1: Grid 1. 2.txt.

5 c Fluent Inc.. January 31. Display the grid (Figure 5). 2007 . (c) Close the Scale Grid panel.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (a) Select mm from the Grid Was Created In drop-down list in the Unit Conversion group box. Note: Do not scale the grid. (b) Click the Change Length Units button.. (a) Retain the default parameters. (b) Click Display. 3. Display −→Grid.

c. though it will not be used by the solver. this liquid compressibility UDF is not required as any pressure increase in the liquid will cause it to escape through the gaps. Adding liquid compressibility through a UDF provides a realistic solution. 1. The file input.txt is read when the UDF is loaded.c and oil-den. The model here contains gaps. 6 c Fluent Inc. However. If the pump contains gaps.txt must be in SI units. If you click the right mouse button on one of the boundaries in the graphics window. the compressibility UDF is included for completeness. name. its zone number..Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Figure 5: Grid Display Use the right mouse button to check which zone number corresponds to each boundary. and type will be printed in the FLUENT console. hence it is not necessary to use the compressibility UDF. 2007 . incompressible liquid and constricting volumes create unphysical pressure spikes. Define −→ User-Defined −→ Functions −→Compiled. January 31. All inputs to the file input.. Compile the UDF library using the source files vane. Step 2: User-Defined Function In pump models without gaps. This contains the parameters required for the UDF (see Appendix 1).

(b) Click Build to build the directories.. (c) Read the information in the Information panel and click OK. 2007 7 . Select the source files..c and oil-den. c Fluent Inc. (d) Click Load to load the UDF. January 31.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (a) Click the Add.. Define −→ Models −→Solver. Enable time-dependent calculation.c and click OK.. vane. i. button to open the Select File panel. Step 3: Models 1.

. 8 c Fluent Inc. Define −→ Models −→Viscous. 2. (c) Click OK to close the Solver panel.. January 31. (b) Retain the default values for the other parameters. (a) Select k-epsilon (2 eqn) in the Options group box.turbulence model. (b) Retain the default values for the other parameters. 2007 . (c) Click OK to close the Viscous Model panel.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (a) Select Unsteady from the Time list. Enable the standard k.

(b) Enter 0..Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Step 4: Materials Define −→Materials. Select superfluid density::libudf and click OK to close the User-Defined Functions panel. i. 2007 9 . This material will be used for all fluid zones. (c) Select user-defined from the Density drop-down list to open the User-Defined Functions panel. Create a new material called oil. January 31.008 for Viscosity. c Fluent Inc. 1.. (a) Delete air from the Name entry box and enter oil.

.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (d) Click Yes in the dialog box that opens to overwrite air. Step 5: Boundary Conditions Define −→Boundary Conditions. January 31. (b) Set the Turbulent Intensity to 5%.. Set boundary conditions for inlet. 1. (f) Click Change/Create and close the Materials panel. i. Select sound speed::libudf and click OK to close the User-Defined Functions panel. (e) Select user-defined from the Speed of Sound drop-down list to open the UserDefined Functions panel. 2007 . (a) Select Intensity and Hydraulic Diameter from the Specification Method drop-down list in the Turbulence group box. 10 c Fluent Inc.

. January 31. (d) Click OK to close the Pressure Inlet panel. (c) Set the Backflow Turbulent Intensity to 5%. c Fluent Inc. (d) Set the Backflow Hydraulic Diameter to 10 mm.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (c) Set the Hydraulic Diameter to 12 mm. 1. (a) Set Gauge Pressure to 2000000. (e) Click OK to close the Pressure Outlet panel. (b) Select Intensity and Hydraulic Diameter from the Specification Method drop-down list in the Turbulence group box. Set boundary conditions for outlet. 2007 11 .. Create an interface called intf-gap. 2. Step 6: Grid Interfaces Define −→Grid Interfaces.

(c) Enter intf-pump for Grid Interface. (b) Select intf-pump-vanes from the Interface Zone 2 selection list. (d) Click Create. 12 c Fluent Inc. Note: When you select intf-gap in the list of created interfaces. (c) Enter intf-gap for Grid Interface. Create an interface called intf-pump. January 31. Boundary Zone 1 and Boundary Zone 2 should show wall-14 and wall-15 respectively. (d) Click Create and close the Grid Interfaces panel. 2. 2007 . (b) Select intf-pump-housing from the Interface Zone 2 selection list. (a) Select intf-pump-pipes from the Interface Zone 1 selection list.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (a) Select intf-pump-gaps from the Interface Zone 1 selection list.

. January 31. (a) Enable Dynamic Mesh and In-Cylinder in the Models group box.25 (c) Click OK to close the Dynamic Mesh Parameters panel.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Step 7: Dynamic Mesh 1.. Define −→ Dynamic Mesh −→Zones. Define dynamic mesh zones.. c Fluent Inc.. 2007 13 . Define dynamic mesh parameters Define −→ Dynamic Mesh −→Parameters. (b) Click the In-Cylinder tab and specify parameters as shown in the table: Parameter Crank Shaft Speed Starting Crank Angle Crank Period Crank Angle Step Size Value 500 0 360 0. 2.

January 31. 14 c Fluent Inc. wall-14. (i) Similarly. (e) Select fluid-gap from the Zone Names drop-down list. (c) Click the Motion Attributes tab and select vane pump core::libudf from the Mesh Motion UDF drop-down list.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (a) Select fluid-pump from the Zone Names drop-down list. (d) Click Create. (j) Close the Dynamic Mesh Zones panel. and wall-15 by selecting the UDF walls::libudf. create the dynamic zones for inner-gap-wall. (g) Click the Motion Attributes tab and select vane pump gap::libudf from the Mesh Motion UDF drop-down list. (b) Select User-Defined in the Type group box. (h) Click Create. pump-rotor. (f) Select User-Defined in the Type group box. 2007 .

. Set the initialization function hook. Define one user-defined memory location. Define −→ User-Defined −→Function Hooks.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Step 8: User-Defined Function Hooks and Memory 1. Define −→ User-Defined −→Memory. (a) Select init sector::libudf for Initialization... 2. (b) Click OK to close the User-Defined Function Hooks panel. c Fluent Inc.. January 31. (a) Increase the Number of User-Defined Memory Locations to 1. 2007 15 . (b) Click OK to close the User-Defined Memory panel.

2007 . 1. Solve −→ Monitors −→Residual. 2.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Step 9: Solution Solve −→ Controls −→Solution.. Enable plotting of residuals.. 16 c Fluent Inc. Select PISO transient algorithm. (c) Click OK to close the Solution Controls panel.. January 31. (a) Select PISO from the Pressure-Velocity Coupling drop-down list. (b) Retain the default values for other parameters..

January 31. (a) Click Init and close the Solution Initialization panel.. 17 c Fluent Inc.. Solve −→ Initialize −→Initialize.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (a) Enable Plot in the Options group box. FLUENT warns (in the console) that you should display the UDM-0 using cell value to verify that the sector numbers are calculated correctly. (b) Click OK to close the Solution Controls panel. Initialize the flow using default values. 3. 2007 .

and User Memory 0 from the Contours of drop-down lists. enable Headlights On in the Lights panel. (b) Set Levels to 8... (e) Click Display. Set the autosave frequency. intf-pump-vanes. 5.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT 4. Note: This should always be done after setup and initialization to verify that the sector numbers are correct. select Phong from the Lighting Method drop-down list and click Apply. 18 c Fluent Inc. Display contours of UDM-0 (Figure 6)... File −→ Write −→Autosave. 2007 . (d) Select intf-pump-housing. For better rendering of the image. (c) Select User Defined Memory. and wall:0 from the Surfaces selection list. (a) Enable Filled and disable Node Values in the Options group box. January 31. Display −→Contours...

Save the initial case and data files (circle-pump. at the eighth time step. Display the grid as shown in Figure 3. Files will be saved at every two degrees of rotation. the files circle-pump0008. c Fluent Inc. 6.dat. FLUENT will automatically append the time step number and extension to the filename while saving.gz will be saved.gz for Filename.cas.gz).Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Figure 6: UDM-0 Sectors (a) Set Autosave Case File Frequency and Autosave Data File Frequency to 8.gz and circle-pump. For example.gz and circle-pump0008. (b) Enter circle-pump.dat. January 31.cas. (c) Click OK to close the Autosave Case/Data panel. 2007 19 . 7.

50 degrees of rotation). January 31. 2007 .. a new solution. Solve −→Iterate..gz and circle-pump. A complete cycle would require 1440 time steps.e. Perform mesh motion preview for 20 time steps.. Solve −→Mesh Motion. (b) Click Preview.gz.cas. (a) Set Number of Time Steps to 20. 20 c Fluent Inc.. Run the transient solution for 200 time steps (i. 10. Read the files circle-pump. Note: A case and corresponding data file must always be read into FLUENT prior to starting a mesh motion preview.dat. 9. or restarting a solution.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT 8..

Note: The profile file name must be called data outer.dat. c Fluent Inc.cas. Read the case and data files circle-pump0160..gz and circle-pump0160. display the pressure contours at 40 degrees of rotation (Figure 8).Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (a) Set the Number of Time Steps to 200.gz. (b) Click Iterate. Display the pressure contours at 20 degrees of rotation (Figure 7).gz respectively. (a) Select Pressure. (b) Select all surfaces except default-interior. respectively. Display −→Contours.dat.gz and circle-pump0080.. 2.. Step 10: Postprocessing 1.. Read the case and data files circle-pump0080. and default-interior:0:1 from the Surfaces selection list. Similarly.txt and must be located in the same folder as the case file.cas. 2007 21 . January 31. and Static Pressure from the Contours of drop-down lists. default-interior:0. (c) Click Display.

2007 .Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Figure 7: Pressure Contours After 20o of Rotation Figure 8: Pressure Contours After 40o of Rotation 22 c Fluent Inc. January 31.

Note: The file input.msh. The rotor or housing may have a non-circular profile. gap ID. etc. the housing of the pump is elliptical in shape. Hence.txt.txt and oil den. 2007 23 .) for the pump. see Appendix 1.txt file used for the circular pump needs to be edited before it can be used for the ellipse pump. the input.txt contains input data (zone ID. In such cases. January 31. vane. 2. Vane pumps do not always conform to this geometry requirement.c to your working folder. Figure 9: Vane Pump Geometry (Elliptical Housing) Setup and Solution (Case 2) In this case. In the following example (see Figure 9). radius. the setup and solution is similar to the circular pump above. data outer. A sample of this profile is shown (Appendix 2).Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT The circular pump case was composed of a circular rotor and circular housing bore. Preparation 1. Start the 3D (3d) version of FLUENT.c. Copy the files ellipse-pump. c Fluent Inc. For information. a profile file is required as input for the UDF. core ID. This data for ellipse pump is different from that for the circular pump because the respective meshes are different. input.

Read the mesh file ellipse-pump. Grid −→Scale.msh. 3. (b) Click the Change Length Units button. Rotate the grid using the left-mouse button to get the view shown in Figure 10. (b) Click Display. (a) Select mm from the Grid Was Created In drop-down list in the Unit Conversion group box. January 31.. File −→ Read −→Case.. (c) Click Scale. 24 c Fluent Inc. Step 2: User-Defined Function Same as Step 2 for circular pump (see 6). FLUENTwill read the file and report the progress in the console window. Step 3: Models Same as Step 3 for circular pump (see 7). Display −→Grid. Change the grid units to mm.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Step 1: Grid 1. (d) Close the Scale Grid panel... 2007 . (a) Retain the default parameters... Display the grid (Figure 10). 2.

(a) Change the type for inlet from wall to pressure-inlet. 2007 . January 31. Define −→Boundary Conditions.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Figure 10: Grid Display Step 4: Materials Same as Step 4 for circular pump (see 9)... 25 c Fluent Inc. Step 5: Boundary Conditions 1. Set boundary conditions for inlet.

(g) Click OK to close the Pressure Outlet panel. (f) Set the Hydraulic Diameter to 15 mm.. button to open Pressure Inlet panel. (a) Enable Dynamic Mesh and In-Cylinder from the Model group box.. (b) Click the Set. Step 6: Grid Interfaces Same as Step 6 for circular pump (see 11). ii. 2007 . 2. (c) Specify Gauge Pressure as 2000000. Define −→ Dynamic Mesh −→Parameters. (a) Select fluid-pump from the Zone Names drop-down list. i.. Define dynamic mesh parameters.. Set the Turbulent Intensity to 5%. (a) Change the type for outlet from wall to pressure-outlet.. ii. Click OK in the Question panel that opens.. Define dynamic mesh zones. Step 7: Dynamic Mesh 1.25 c Fluent Inc. Select Intensity and Hydraulic Diameter from the Specification Method dropdown list in the Turbulence group box. (b) Click the Set. (c) Select vane pump core::libudf from the Mesh Motion UDF drop-down list. Click OK to close the Pressure Inlet panel. January 31. button to open the Pressure Inlet panel. 26 Value 500 0 360 0. (b) Click the In-Cylinder tab and specify the parameters shown in the table: Parameter Crank Shaft Speed Starting Crank Angle Crank Period Crank Angle Step Size 2.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT i.. iv. Set the Hydraulic Diameter to 15 mm.. iii. Set boundary conditions for outlet. Define −→ Dynamic Mesh −→Zones. Select inlet from the Zone selection list and pressure-inlet from the Type selection list. (d) Select Intensity and Hydraulic Diameter from the Specification Method drop-down list in the Turbulence group box. (b) Select User-Defined from the Type group box. (e) Set the Turbulent Intensity to 5%.

January 31. (a) Enable Plot in the Options group box.. 1.. (i) Similarly. These zones are moving walls. Solve −→ Monitors −→Residual.. 2. (a) Select PISO from the Pressure-Velocity Coupling drop-down list. (d) Select intf-pump-housing. 4. (g) Select vane pump gap::libudf from the Mesh Motion UDF drop-down list. (b) Click OK to close the Residual Monitors panel. (h) Click Create. (c) Click OK to close the Solution Controls panel. The number of levels is equal to the number of vanes. Enable plotting of residuals...Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (d) Click Create... 3. (b) Retain the default values for other parameters.. (e) Select fluid-gap from the Zone Names drop-down list. intf-pump-vanes. Select PISO transient algorithm. Display −→Contours. (c) Select User Defined Memory. Step 8: User-Defined Function Hooks and Memory Same as Step 8 for circular pump (see 15). (e) Click Display. pump-rotor. and wall:0:1 from the Surfaces selection list. Step 9: Solution Solve −→ Controls −→Solution. 2007 . for the zones gap-wall. wall-9 and wall-16 select the UDF walls::libudf. where wall-9 and wall-16 are created in Step 6: Grid Interfaces... 27 c Fluent Inc. (b) Set Levels to 4. (a) Click Init and close the Solution Initialization panel. (f) Select User-Defined from the Type group box. (a) Enable Filled and disable Node Values from the Options group box. Display contours of UDM-0 (Figure 11). Initialize the flow using default values. Solve −→ Initialize −→Initialize. and User Memory 0 from the Contours of drop-down lists.

Solve −→Iterate. a new solution.cas. Set the autosave frequency. 8. Read the files ellipse-pump.. 28 c Fluent Inc.gz for Filename..gz and ellipse-pump. 2007 .Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Figure 11: UDM-0 Sectors 5. Note: A case and corresponding data file must always be read into FLUENT prior to starting a mesh motion preview. Solve −→Mesh Motion. or restarting a solution. A complete cycle would require 1440 time steps.. January 31.. Run the transient solution for 200 time steps (i.dat. (b) Click Preview.. (a) Set the Number of Time Steps to 200. The files will be saved at every two degrees of rotation. 7.gz.gz). (b) Enter ellipse-pump.e. Display the grid as shown in Figure 9.cas. (c) Click OK to close the Autosave Case/Data panel. 9. File −→ Write −→Autosave.. 6.. 50 degrees of rotation). Save the initial case and data files (ellipse-pump. (a) Set Autosave Case File Frequency and Autosave Data File Frequency to 8. 10. (a) Set Number of Time Steps to 20. Perform mesh motion preview for 20 time steps.

cas. default-interior:0. and Static Pressure from the Contours of drop-down lists. display the pressure contours at 44 degrees of rotation.. 2.gz and ellipse-pump0040. Display the pressure contours at 10 degrees of rotation Figure 12. and default-interior:0:1 from the Surfaces selection list.dat. Read the case and data files ellipse-pump0040. c Fluent Inc. Similarly.gz. Read the case and data files ellipse-pump0176.cas. January 31. (b) Select all surfaces except default-interior.. Display −→Contours. (a) Select Pressure.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT (b) Click Iterate. Step 10: Postprocessing 1.dat. respectively.. respectively.gz. 2007 29 .gz and ellipse-pump0176.. (c) Click Display.

2007 .Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Figure 12: Pressure Contours After 10o of Rotation Figure 13: Pressure Contours After 44o of Rotation 30 c Fluent Inc. January 31.

In this case a profile file called data outer.e. (a) 0: Profile is a circle and does not change in the z-direction. you set up and modeled a vane pump of circular and elliptical housing respectively. OUTER SHAPE is the outer profile of the pump core and is represented by an integer value.75e-3 0. (b) 1: Profile is user-defined and does not change in the z-direction. In this case. (c) 2: Profile is a circle and does change in the z-direction (i. 2007 31 . You then performed a transient dynamic mesh calculation and examined the pressure contours at various stages of rotation. Sample Input File (This is the input file for the elliptical housing vane pump. You set up a dynamic mesh with dynamic zones defined using a UDF. 2. January 31. In this case a profile file called data inner. INNER SHAPE is the inner profile of the pump core and is represented by an integer value.txt must be in SI units. an additional source file called special inner.txt) must be created and copied to the same working folder as the case file (contact the support engineer for information).txt (see sample in Appendix2) must be created and copied to the same working folder as the case file.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT Summary In this tutorial. All inputs to the file input.txt) is as shown (all inputs must be in the file even though some are specific to OUTER SHAPE).c is required to specify the change c Fluent Inc. (b) 1: Profile is user-defined and does not change in the z-direction. 3D).): 0 0 8 7 13 25e-3 1. (a) 0: Profile is a circle and does not change in the z-direction.5e-3 2e-3 OUTER_SHAPE INNER_SHAPE N_VANE CORE_ID GAP_ID r HALF_VANE_WIDTH GAP R DELTA 1.txt (same format as data outer.1e-3 27. Appendix 1: Details of the Input File The format of the input file (input.

320 0.001 0. the inner circle.002 0. 4.txt): This is a segment from an elliptical profile file.0015 0.Vane Pump Modeling in FLUENT of inner radius with respect to the z-coordinate (contact the support engineer for information). Even though the offset is always to the left of the pump core center. 8. 5. 7. 2007 . 9.027422547 0. HALF VANE WIDTH is half of the width of each vane. The complete pump core must be defined as a single fluid zone. GAP ID is the cell zone ID for the gaps. GAP is the gap width (ignored if no gaps are used).027497851 0.027480657 0.027012277 0. 3. N VANE is the number of vanes. All gaps must be defined as a single fluid zone (ignored if no gaps are used). DELTA is the distance between the center of the inner and outer circles if the OUTER SHAPE is a circle (ignored for user-defined outer profile).027446237 0.027394524 0.e. January 31. Appendix 2: Sample Profile File (data outer. 10.027465603 0.0005 0.0275 0 0.003 0. R is the radius of the pump housing if the OUTER SHAPE is a circle (ignored for userdefined outer profile). the GAP ID must be set to 0.0035 0. r is the radius of the rotor. 6. DELTA must be a positive value.0075 32 c Fluent Inc.027491405 0. If there is no gap. i. which contains 320 points. CORE ID is the cell zone ID for the pump core. This tutorial uses this profile file.0025 0.

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