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Butterfly Valve Optimization

The Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering (NAOE) department of Hochschule Bremen (HS Bremen), Germany, and the NAOE Ship Design & Production Laboratory (SDPL) of Pusan National University (PNU), Korea, are very active users of the FRIENDSHIP-Framework and customers of FRIENDSHIP SYSTEMS, too. They manage student exchange programs and share academic and scientific information. Two Ph.D. students of SDPL visited the HS Bremen and performed a butterfly valve optimization project in January 2011. In the meantime, they stayed at FRIENDSHIP SYSTEMS in Potsdam for two days and established the research basis of simulation-driven design using the FRIENDSHIP-Framework and ANSYS. FRIENDSHIP-Framework, as a CAE platform, provided the 3D geometry design of the butterfly valve, optimization engines and integration interface for ANSYS. ANSYS provided ICEM CFD for meshing and CFX as a solver.

From this project PNU SDPL could generate such a robust and flexible 3D design and optimization frame for fluid machinery that they upgraded their academic teaching license (ATL) to the academic research license (ARL).

With the ARL, they signed a contract for a research project on a propeller boss cap fin (PBHF) optimization with a propeller manufacturer.

Dimension of rib

7 parameters generate a rib and the valve disc is equipped with 9 ribs in total. 3 parameters, i.e. height, length and breadth, are selected as design variables.

The range of the design variables is given as 0.04D < Height <0.085D, 0.11D<Length<0.19D and 6<Breadth<12 under the millimeter unit. (D means diameter of valve disc.)

Angle A and B are each fixed with 60 degree and 90 degree.

Objective value is given as the flow rate (kg/s), i.e. the mass of substance which passes through any given surface per unit of time.

Measure location is at 6D (6 times of valve diameter) backward of valve.

The boundary conditions of the setup are according to ‘IEC 60534-2-3’: inlet (2.8 bar), outlet (2.45 bar), water temperature (25) and k-ε turbulence model.

Flow field


Considering the multi-executables integration, the simulation driven design process is set as follows:

Visualization of the design process

A global optimization and consequently a local optimization were conducted.

The design engine Ensemble Investigation evaluated the global maximum objective value at 71.57 kg/s at the length 38mm, the breadth 12mm and the height 14mm.

MassFlow changes in EnsembleInvestigation


Those design variable values were used as the starting point of the local optimization process, i.e. TSearch in this case.

Mass flow changes in TSearch

The final result of the local optimization is 37.6mm for length, 11.8mm for breadth and 14.2mm for height and the amount of mass flow at the rib dimensions is 71.75kg/s.

The streamline around the optimized valve is evaluated as following:

Optimized butterfly valve streamlines


To learn about other use cases, please visit our video section or go to FRIENDSHIP SYSTEMS' YouTube channel directly.


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