Measurements of the Tip Clearance Flow for a High-Reynolds-Number Axial-Flow Rotor

[+] Author and Article Information
W. C. Zierke, K. J. Farrell, W. A. Straka

Applied Research Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16804

J. Turbomach 117(4), 522-532 (Oct 01, 1995) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2836564 History: Received June 01, 1995; Online January 29, 2008


A high-Reynolds-number pump (HIREP) facility has been used to acquire flow measurements in the rotor blade tip clearance region, with blade chord Reynolds numbers of 3,900,000 and 5,500,000. The initial experiment involved rotor blades with varying tip clearances, while a second experiment involved a more detailed investigation of a rotor blade row with a single tip clearance. The flow visualization on the blade surface and within the flow field indicate the existence of a trailing-edge separation vortex, a vortex that migrates radially upward along the trailing edge and then turns in the circumferential direction near the casing, moving in the opposite direction of blade rotation. Flow visualization also helps in establishing the trajectory of the tip leakage vortex core and shows the unsteadiness of the vortex. Detailed measurements show the effects of tip clearance size and downstream distance on the structure of the rotor tip leakage vortex. The character of the velocity profile along the vortex core changes from a jetlike profile to a wakelike profile as the tip clearance becomes smaller. Also, for small clearances, the presence and proximity of the casing endwall affects the roll-up, shape, dissipation, and unsteadiness of the tip leakage vortex. Measurements also show how much circulation is retained by the blade tip and how much is shed into the vortex, a vortex associated with high losses.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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