Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Robert E. Spall


Butterfly valves are commonly used in industrial applications to control the internal flow of both compressible and incompressible fluids. A butterfly valve typically consists of a metal disc formed around a central shaft, which acts as its axis of rotation. As the valve's opening angle is increased from 0 degrees (fully closed) to 90 degrees (fully open), fluid is able to more readily flow past the valve. Characterizing a valve's performance factors, such as pressure drop, hydrodynamic torque, flow coefficient, loss coefficient, and torque coefficient, is necessary for fluid system designers to account for system requirements to properly operate the valve and prevent permanent damage from occurring. This comparison study of a 48-inch butterfly valve's experimental performance factors using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in an incompressible fluid at Reynolds numbers ranging approximately between 105 to 106 found that for mid-open positions (30-60 degrees), CFD was able to appropriately predict common performance factors for butterfly valves. For lower valve angle cases (10-20 degrees), CFD simulations failed to predict those same values, while higher valve angles (70-90 degrees) gave mixed results. (152 pages)




This work made publicly available electronically on February 20, 2013.