Fan Performance CFD

Analysis Type: aerodynamic design using CFD
Objective: to rapidly develop a new fan design
Sector: defence

Client Benefits: The provision of additional resource to fast-track a new product design and successfully meet the deadline for first prototype evaluation.

Project Background: Established over 75 years ago, Ametek Airscrew is a recognised expert in the design and manufacture of fans, motors, generators, switches and sensors for the aerospace, defence and railway industries worldwide.

Airscrew had an opportunity to provide a working prototype of a new fan to meet a sand scavenge requirement but, with their considerable in-house expertise already stretched on other projects, a short-term additional resource was required to meet the demanding deadline.

With a background in turbomachines and the capability to provide computational fluid dynamics (CFD), TriVista Engineering was therefore engaged to work with Airscrew on the new design. The project was carried out in close collaboration to make best use of Airscrew’s substantial experience combined with TriVista’s analysis resource.

Solution: TriVista’s contribution was focused on the heart of the fan, the impeller. The work was conducted in two phases: an initial one-dimensional study to establish the basic size and shape of the blading, followed by fully three-dimensional flow evaluation, using CFD, with appropriate design adjustments.

The use of CFD offers valuable insight into the quality of the flow, including potential problems such as flow separation, and also a prediction of the likely performance. This ‘virtual test environment’ informs the design process and dramatically reduces the need for prototyping and test.

The project enabled Airscrew to quickly produce a new impeller design and in the process to explore important design issues, including the effects of blade erosion and blade number.

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