A numerical study of the effect of the blade thickness on centrifugal impeller slip factor is presented in this paper. The CFD results show that generally the slip factor decreases as the blade thickness increases. Changing the thickness at different locations has different effects on the slip factor. The shroud side blade thickness has more effect on the impeller slip factor than the hub side blade thickness. In the flow direction, the blade thickness at 50% meridional distance is the major factor affecting the slip factor. The leading edge thickness has little effect on slip factor. There is an optimum thickness at the trailing edge for the maximum slip factor. For this impeller, the hub side thickness ratio of 0.5 between the trailing edge and the middle of the impeller gives the highest value of the slip factor, while the ratio of 0.25 at shroud side gives the highest value of the slip factor. A blockage factor is added into the slip factor model to include the aerodynamic blockage effect on the slip factor. The model explains the phenomena observed in the CFD results and the test data very well.

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