The objective of the Rotor Force Test Facility at the California Institute of Technology is to artificially orbit the center of rotation of an impeller enclosed within a volute over a range of frequencies from zero to synchronous and to measure the resulting forces on the impeller. This paper reports preliminary data from the first stage experiments in which the shaft is orbited at low frequency. Steady volute forces along the stiffness matrices due to the change in position of the rotor center are measured. Static pressure taps around the volute are used to obtain volute pressure distributions for various fixed positions of the impeller center and for various flow rates. Static pressure forces are calculated from these pressure distributions allowing a more complete analysis of the components of the impeller forces. Comparison is made with various existing theoretical and experimental results.
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