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Alasdair February 5, 2008 01:57

Vacuum pump simulation

I have limited knowledge of CFD, so sorry if the following is a "dumb" question.

I am trying to help a company identify potential applications for CFD in their design and development activities. They have recently moved into vacuum pumps (the rotary vane, positive displacement variety, see: and want to know if a CFD package will be able to model this accurately.

It is the transient behaviour after first starting the pump which is of interest - i.e. what is the vaccum generated after 5, 10, 20 seconds and so on. This differs from the static (e.g. valve) or steady-state (e.g. centrifugal impeller) analyses I have seen before in CFD.

Is this type of analysis possible in CFD, and is it do-able on one of the CAD-integrated low-end packages (specifically EFD.Pro, STAR-ProE or CFDesign) which we are considering?

Any help/advice much appreciated.



Jonas Holdeman February 6, 2008 12:28

Re: Vacuum pump simulation
Just a thought... CFD packages are based on the governing equation(s) for continuum fluids, i.e. the Navier-Stokes equation, which is thought to be applicable down to the near the molecular level. If you are talking about high vacuum, then the discrete properties (like the mean free path of the molecules relative to the dimensions of the container) dominate and CFD is not applicable. However, it may be applicable in the design of a roughing pump.

Joern Beilke February 6, 2008 17:22

Re: Vacuum pump simulation
You can simulate a rotary vane pump using StarCD. I did it some years ago and it is quite some fun to define the mesh movement;-)

Rana March 3, 2011 01:00

i am looking for simulating a rotary vane vacuum pump, finding it hard to locate a paper on it, if anyone have some literature on the same please post a link

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