Leading Edge Separation Bubbles on Turbomachine Blades

[+] Author and Article Information
R. E. Walraevens, N. A. Cumpsty

Department of Engineering, Whittle Laboratory, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom

J. Turbomach 117(1), 115-125 (Jan 01, 1995) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2835626 History: Received February 19, 1993; Online January 29, 2008


Results are presented for separation bubbles of the type that can form near the leading edges of thin compressor or turbine blades. These often occur when the incidence is such that the stagnation point is not on the nose of the aerofoil. Tests were carried out at low speed on a single aerofoil to simulate the range of conditions found on compressor blades. Both circular and elliptic shapes of leading edge were tested. Results are presented for a range of incidence, Reynolds number, and turbulence intensity and scale. The principal quantitative measurements presented are the pressure distributions in the leading edge and bubble region, as well as the boundary layer properties at a fixed distance downstream, where most of the flows had reattached. Reynolds number was found to have a comparatively small influence, but a raised level of free-stream turbulence has a striking effect, shortening or eliminating the bubble and increasing the magnitude of the suction spike. Increased free-stream turbulence also reduces the boundary layer thickness and shape parameter after the bubble. Some explanations of the processes are outlined.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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