Development of a transparent pump prototype for flow visualization purposes

by Rodolfo Marcilli Perissinotto, William Denner Pires Fonseca, William Monte Verde, Jorge Luiz Biazussi, Rafael Franklin Lazaro de Cerqueira, Marcelo Souza Castro, Antonio Carlos Bannwart, presented at Rio Oil & Gas 2022, September 2022.


The presence of emulsions in centrifugal pumps has always been a top issue for oil and gas exploration companies. These oil-water mixtures cause financial losses along the production chain, as they often induce pumps to operate in an unstable and inefficient manner. As there is a clear dependence between the pump performance and the flow arrangement in the impellers, this current paper aims to broaden the understanding on the behavior of emulsions inside the stage of a centrifugal pump. Thus, the paper describes the design and fabrication of a new transparent pump prototype for visualization purposes focused on academic studies. The new prototype is completely transparent, so it enables visual access and light entrance from the front and sides. Besides, the new pump is able to operate with twophase flows, since the dispersed phase can be injected directly into the impeller channels, through the shaft. Some tests were then conducted with this new prototype. They provided successful results which are presented and discussed here. Therefore, the new transparent prototype is an innovative alternative to help engineers and researchers investigate twophase flows in rotating and stationary pump parts.


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