Research Papers

Effect of Tip Clearance on the Prediction of Nonsynchronous Vibrations in Axial Compressors

[+] Author and Article Information
Martin Drolet

École Polytechnique de Montréal
and Pratt and Whitney Canada
1000 Boulevard Marie-Victorin
Longueuil, QC, J4G 1A1, Canada
e-mail: martin.drolet@polymtl.ca

Huu Duc Vo

e-mail: huu-duc.vo@polymtl.ca

Njuki W. Mureithi

e-mail: njuki.mureithi@polymtl.ca
École Polytechnique de Montréal
2500 chemin de Polytechnique
Montréal, QC, H3T 1J4, Canada

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received July 17, 2011; final manuscript received August 9, 2011; published online October 30, 2012. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Turbomach 135(1), 011023 (Oct 30, 2012) (10 pages) Paper No: TURBO-11-1140; doi: 10.1115/1.4006401 History: Received July 17, 2011; Revised August 09, 2011

This work investigates the effect of tip clearance size and operating temperature on the predictions of the critical rotor speed at which nonsynchronous vibrations (NSV) can be encountered in a turbine engine axial flow compressor. It has been proposed that the tangential tip clearance flow, observed at high blade loading near stall, can act as an impinging resonant jet on the upcoming blades and could be the underlying physics behind NSV. A model, in the form of an equation to predict the critical blade tip speed at which NSV can occur, was proposed based on the Jet-Core Feedback Theory and was experimentally verified by Thomassin et al. (2008, “Experimental Demonstration to the Tip Clearance Flow Resonance Behind Compressor NSV,” Proceedings of GT2008: ASME Turbo Expo Power for Land, Sea and Air, Berlin, Germany, Jun. 9–13, Paper No. GT2008-50303). In the equation, a factor k that was called the “tip instability convection coefficient” was measured experimentally and found to be influenced by the tip clearance size and operating temperature. This factor has a significant impact on the accuracy of the NSV predictions obtained using the proposed model. This paper propose a numerical experiment to determine the effect of tip clearance size and temperature on k, in order to improve the critical NSV tip speed predictions using the proposed model. A review of the NSV model is presented along with the relevant background theory on the subject. Two different blade geometries are simulated to provide a generic approach to the study. The leakage flow velocity is calculated to estimate k and a correlation is proposed to model the behavior of the k parameter as a function of the tip clearance size. The latter was found to significantly improve the critical NSV speed predictions. The effect of operating temperature on k is also discussed. Finally, the variation of k with the aerodynamic loading is assessed and compared with available data in the literature to strengthen the generic nature of the results.

© 2013 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Baumgartner, M., Kamaler, F., and Hourmouziadis, J., 1995, “Non-Engine Order Blade Vibration in a High Pressure Compressor,” ISABE Paper No. 95-7094.
Kielb, R. E., Thomas, J. P., Barter, J. W., and Hall, K. C., 2003, “Blade Excitation by Aerodynamic Instabilities: A Compressor Blade Study,” ASME Paper No. GT2003-38634. [CrossRef]
Thomassin, J., Vo, H. D., and Mureithi, N. W., 2009, “Blade Tip Clearance Flow and Compressor NSV: The Jet Core Feedback Theory as the Coupling Mechanism,” ASME J. Turbomach., 131, p. 011013. [CrossRef]
März, J., Hah, C., and Neise, W., 2002, “An Experimental and Numerical Investigation Into the Mechanisms of Rotating Instability,” ASME J. Turbomach., 124, pp. 367–375. [CrossRef]
Mailach, R., Lehmann, I., and Vogeler, K., 2001, “Rotating Instabilities in an Axial Compressor Originating From the Fluctuating Blade Tip Vortex,” ASME J. Turbomach., 123, pp. 453–463. [CrossRef]
Vo, H. D., 2006, “Role of Tip Clerance Flow in the Generation of Non-Synchronous Vibrations,” Proceedings of the 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, NV, January 9–12, AIAA Paper No. 2006-629.
Vo, H. D., Tan, C. S., and Greitzer, E. M., 2008, “Criteria for Spike Initiated Rotating Stall,” ASME J. Turbomach., 130, p. 011023. [CrossRef]
Thomassin, J., Vo, H. D., and Mureithi, N. W., 2008, “Experimental Demonstration to the Tip Clearance Flow Resonance Behind Compressor Non-Synchronous Vibration,” Proceedings of GT2008: ASME Turbo Expo Power for Land, Sea and Air, Berlin, Germany, June9–13, ASME Paper No. GT2008-50303. [CrossRef]
Drolet, M., Thomassin, J., Vo, H. D., and Mureithi, N. W., 2009, “Numerical Investigation Into Non-Synchronous Vibrations of Axial Flow Compressors by the Resonant Tip Clearance Flow,” Proceedings of GT2009: ASME Turbo Expo Power for Land, Sea and Air, 2009, Orlando, FL, June8–12, ASME Paper No. GT2009-59074. [CrossRef]
Kameier, F., and Neise, W., 1997, “Rotating Blade Flow Instability as a Source of Noise in Axial Turbomachines,” J. Sound Vib., 203(2), pp. 833–853. [CrossRef]
Kameier, F., and Neise, W., 1997, “Experimental Study of Tip Clearance Losses and Noise in Axial Turbomachines and Their Reduction,” ASME J. Turbomach., 119, pp. 460–471. [CrossRef]
Storer, J. A., and Cumpsty, N. A., 1991, “Tip Leakage Flow in Axial Compressors,” ASME J. Turbomach., 113, pp. 252–259. [CrossRef]
Rains, D. A., 1954, “Tip Clearance Flows in Axial Flow Compressors and Pumps,” California Institute of Technology, Hydrodynamics and Mechanical Engineering Laboratories, Pasadena, CA, Report No. 5.
Spiker, M. A., Kielb, R. E., Hall, K. C., and Thomas, J. P., 2008, “Efficient Design Method for Non-Synchronous Vibrations Using Enforced Motion,” Proceedings of GT2008: ASME Turbo Expo Power for Land, Sea and Air, Berlin, June9–13, ASME Paper No. GT2008-50599. [CrossRef]
Vo, H. D., 2001, “Role of Tip Clearance Flow on Axial Compressor Stability,” Ph.D. thesis, MIT, Cambridge, MA.
Jeffers, J. D., 1988, “Aeroelastic Thermal Effects,” AGARD Manual on Aeroelasticity in Axial-Flow Turbomachines, AGARD-AG-298 Vol. 2, pp. 21-1–21-6.
Day, I. J., 1993, “Stall Inception in Axial Flow Compressors,” ASME J. Turbomach., 115, pp. 1–9. [CrossRef]
Deppe, A., Saathoff, H., and Stark, U., 2004, “Stall Inception Phenomena in Three Single-Stage Low-Speed Axial Compressors,” 10th International Symposium on Transport Phenomena and Dynamics of Rotating Machinery, Honolulu, HI, March7–11.
Gysling, D. L., and Greitzer, E. M., 1995, “Dynamic Control of Rotating Stall in Axial Flow Compressors Using Aeromechanical Feedback,” ASME J. Turbomach., 117, pp. 307–319. [CrossRef]
Haynes, J. M., Hendricks, G. J., and Epstein, A. H., 1994, “Active Stabilization of Rotating Stall in a Three-Stage Axial Compressor,” ASME J. Turbomach., 116, pp. 226–239. [CrossRef]
Höss, B., Leinhos, D., and Fottner, L., 2000, “Stall Inception in the Compressor System of a Turbofan Engine,” ASME J. Turbomach., 122, pp. 32–44. [CrossRef]
Lin, F., Li, M., and Chen, J., 2006, “Long-To-Short Length-Scale Transition: A Stall Inception Phenomenon in an Axial Compressor With Inlet Distortion,” ASME J. Turbomach., 128, pp. 130–140. [CrossRef]
Nie, C., Xu, G., Cheng, X., and Chen, J., 2002, “Micro Air Injection and its Unsteady Response in a Low-Speed Axial Compressor,” ASME J. Turbomach., 124, pp. 572–579. [CrossRef]
Hah, C., Bergner, J., and Schiffer, H. P., 2006, “Short Length-Scale Rotating Stall Inception in a Transonic Axial Compressor: Criteria and Mechanisms,” Proceedings of GT2006: ASME Turbo Expo Power for Land, Sea and Air, Barcelona, Spain, May8–11, ASME Paper No. GT2006-90045. [CrossRef]
Seitz, P. A., 1999, “Casing Treatment for Axial Flow Compressors,” Ph.D. thesis, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, MA.
Hill, S. D., Elder, R. L., and McKenzie, A. B., 1998, “Application of Casing Treatment to an Industrial Axial-Flow Fan,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., 212, pp. 225–233.
Azimian, A. R., Elder, R. L., and McKenzie, A. B., 1990, “Application of Recess Vaned Casing Treatment to Axial Flow Fans,” ASME J. Turbomach., 112, pp. 145–150. [CrossRef]
Roy, B., Chouhan, M., and Kaundinya, K. V., 2005, “Experimental Study of Boundary Layer Control Through Tip Injection on Straight and Swept Compressor Blades,” Proceedings of GT2005: ASME Turbo Expo Power for Land, Sea and Air, Reno, NV, June 6–9, ASME Paper No. GT2005-68304. [CrossRef]
Deppe, A., Saathoff, H., and Stark, U., 2005, “Spike-Type Stall Inception in Axial-Flow Compressors,” Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Turbomachinery, Fluid Dynamics and Thermodynamics, Lille, France, March 7–11.
Wisler, D. C., and Beacher, B. F., 1989, “Improved Compressor Performance Using Recessed Clearance (Trenches),” AIAA J. Propul., 5(4), pp. 469–475. [CrossRef]
Prince, D. C., Jr., Wisler, D. C., and Hilvers, D. E., 1974, “Study of Casing Treatment Stall Margin Improvement Phenomena,” General Electric Company, NASA Report No. CR-134552.
Inoue, M., Kuroumaru, M., Tanino, T., and Furukawa, M., 2000, “Propagation of Multiple Short-Length-Scale Stall Cells in an Axial Compressor Rotor,” ASME J. Turbomach., 122, pp. 45–54. [CrossRef]
Shabbir, A., and Adamczyk, J. J., 2005, “Flow Mechanism for Stall Margin Improvement Due to Circumferential Casing Grooves on Axial Compressors,” ASME J. Turbomach., 127, pp. 708–717. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Tip clearance flow impingement flow paths [8]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) The jet core feedback theory [3] and (b) physics of the proposed NSV model by Thomassin et al. [8]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

NSV prediction on Campbell diagram

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Measured instability convection coefficient k at different operating conditions, data from Ref. [8]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

SR geometry: (a) side view (b) blade tip section

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

TR geometry: (a) side view (b) blade tip section

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Typical chord-wise VL profiles calculated at different rotor speeds for (a) SR geometry at 1% chord tip clearance and (b) TR geometry at 0.4% chord tip clearance

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Characteristics of the tip leakage flow: tip leakage velocity profiles for (a) SR geometry and (b) TR geometry, (c) area-averaged turbulent kinetic energy at tip averaged for all speed with logarithmic trend lines (dashed lines) and (d) anticipated trends in k with tip clearance based on velocity profiles behavior

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Numerical results for calculated k, (a) overall results, and (b) comparison of available data in the literature with Eq. (11) fitted with speed-averaged numerical results

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

(a) Distorted velocity profiles calculated at 3.83% tip clearance for the subsonic geometry and (b) Ideal tip clearance flow model of Rains [13] as depicted in Ref. [12]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Calculated k at different inlet temperatures near stall for the TR geometry. Experimental data is from Ref. [8].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Calculated blade loading versus nondimensional tip clearance for both SR and TR geometries (data shown for all the different speeds)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

(a) Equation (15) and its (b) derivative plotted versus ψ

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Typical values of loading ψ and flow coefficient ϕ found near stall for most compressor geometries




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In