The Measurement and Formation of Tip Clearance Loss

[+] Author and Article Information
J. P. Bindon

University of Natal, Durban, South Africa; Whittle Laboratory, Cambridge, United Kingdom

J. Turbomach 111(3), 257-263 (Jul 01, 1989) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3262264 History: Received November 15, 1987; Online November 09, 2009


The detailed development of tip clearance loss from the leading to trailing edge of a linear turbine cascade was measured and the contributions made by mixing, internal gap shear flow, and endwall/ secondary flow were identified, separated, and quantified for the first time. Only 13 percent of the overall loss arises from endwall/secondary flow and of the remaining 87 percent, 48 percent is due to mixing and 39 percent is due to internal gap shear. All loss formation appears to be dominated by phenomena connected with the gap separation bubble. Flow established within the bubble by the pressure gradient separates as the gradient disappears and most of the internal loss is created by the entrainment of this separated fluid. When this high-loss leakage wake enters the mainstream, it separates due to the suction corner pressure gradient to create virtually all the measured mixing loss. It is suggested that the control of tip clearance loss by discharge coefficient reduction actually introduces loss. Performance improvements may result from streamlined tip geometries that optimize the tradeoff between entropy production and flow deflection.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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