The effect of rotor purge flow on the unsteady aerodynamics of a high-pressure turbine stage operating at design corrected conditions has been investigated, both experimentally and computationally. The experimental configuration consisted of a single-stage high-pressure turbine with a modern film-cooling configuration on the vane airfoil and the inner and outer end wall surfaces. Purge flow was introduced into the cavity located between the high-pressure vane and the high-pressure disk. The high-pressure blades and the downstream low-pressure turbine nozzle row were not cooled. All of the hardware featured an aerodynamic design typical of a commercial high-pressure ratio turbine and the flow path geometry was representative of the actual engine hardware. In addition to instrumentation in the main flow path, the stationary and rotating seals of the purge flow cavity were instrumented with high frequency response flush-mounted pressure transducers and miniature thermocouples in order to measure the flow field parameters above and below the angel wing.
Predictions of the time-dependent flow field in the turbine flow path were obtained using FINE/Turbo, a three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes computational fluid dynamics CFD code that had the capability to perform both a steady and unsteady analysis. The steady and unsteady flow fields throughout the turbine were predicted using a three blade-row computational model that incorporated the purge flow cavity between the high-pressure vane and disk. The predictions were performed in an effort to mimic the design process with no adjustment of boundary conditions to better match the experimental data. The time-accurate predictions were generated using the harmonic method. Part I of this paper concentrates on the comparison of the time-averaged and time-accurate predictions with measurements in and around the purge flow cavity. The degree of agreement between the measured and predicted parameters is described in detail, providing confidence in the predictions for the flow field analysis that will be provided in Part II.