Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of Impeller and Seal Rotordynamics; CAD Usage in Modern Engineering and Effects on the Design Process

Starosta, Pascale, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ferguson, Sean, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Watson-Kassa, Cori, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia

The focus of the technical project has been on simulating rotating machinery components using a CAD software program, ANSYS, in the Rotating Machinery and Controls (ROMAC) laboratory at the University of Virginia. This research has been conducted under the guidance of Dr. Cori Watson-Kassa, Research Scientist. The aim of the work has been to validate the results of CFD simulations on impellers and smooth seals against existing experimental data, with the hope of additionally identifying techniques to improve the performance of such pieces in turbomachinery. Validation of CFD software against experimental tests could in future cut costs of testing geometries for impellers and seals, and lead to the development of improved, more efficient machinery.
This technical research has been entirely conducted using a CAD program to simulate physical models and experiments. The goal of the research is also to allow CFD analysis through CAD programs to become more widespread, as the results are validated and the benefits of a computer program over a physical model are identified and proven. Through the STS research, investigation was conducting into how the expansion of CAD in engineering is impacting education, engineering work, and the design process as a whole. This research examines how a virtual environment is affecting how students learn about engineering, and how professional engineers design and interact with their creations. Studies on these interactions and impacts on the design process are vital in the integration of CAD fully into the engineering world, without the creative process or learning experience of engineers being negatively affected.
The technical and STS research tie together in how CAD is used widely in engineering, and how the study of the impacts of it on engineers is vital to improving the field of engineering as a whole. Working only with a computer program to perform CFD analysis in the technical portion revealed some of the positives and negatives of CAD software, and introduced the idea of researching the consequences and ideas for improvement in the virtual environment of engineering design in the 21st century.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
CAD, ANSYS, computational fluid dynamics, design process
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