The flow within an axial-flow spiral inducer impeller is complex and three-dimensional. The long but tightly-spiralled passages give rise to secondary flow fields strongly influenced by the blade walls. Flow analysis in such an impeller is carried out by a three-dimensional viscous flow code and compared with previously published LDV measurements. Due to the extreme blade angles of the inducer, an unconventional meshing strategy is required in order to prevent high mesh non-orthogonality. Details of that strategy are provided. Tip clearance modelling was not incorporated in this first stage of investigation. Despite this, the flow analysis reveals the pattern of development of the secondary flow field along the length of the high solidity passage consistent with the LDV data but in much greater detail than was possible with the limited capability of the measurement system. Predicted flow patterns upstream suggest preconditions for the initiation of the observed induction of upstream flow swirl at reduced flow rates.

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