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research-article

A Comprehensive Investigation of Blade Row Interaction Effects on Stator Loss Utilizing Vane Clocking

[+] Author and Article Information
Natalie R. Smith

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, 78238, USA
natalie.smith@swri.org

Nicole L. Key

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 47907, USA
nkey@purdue.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040111 History: Received September 27, 2017; Revised October 10, 2017

Abstract

Blade row interactions drive the unsteady performance of high pressure compressors. By altering the upstream vane wake's path with respect to the downstream vane, vane clocking changes blade row interactions and results in a change in steady total pressure loss on the downstream vane. The open literature lacks a conclusive discussion of the flow physics governing these interactions in compressors. This paper presents a comprehensive vane clocking study on the embedded stage of the Purdue 3-stage axial compressor. The steady loss results suggest a shift in the Stator 2 corner separations occurs between clocking configurations. To better understand the flow mechanisms driving these vane clocking effects, time-resolved interrogations of the Stator 2 inlet flow field, surface pressure unsteadiness, and boundary layer response were conducted. The Stator 2 surface flows, both pressure unsteadiness and boundary layer transition, are influenced by vane clocking and interactions between Rotor 1 and Rotor 2, but neither of these results indicate a cause for the change in steady performance. Moreover, like the steady performance, they are a result of upstream changes in the flow field: the interaction between the Stator 1 wake and Rotor 2 results in a circumferentially varying pattern which alters the inlet flow field for the downstream row, including the unsteadiness and frequency content in the tip and hub regions. Therefore, under different clocking configurations, Stator 2 experiences significantly different inlet blockage and unsteadiness, which, in turn, shifts the radial blade loading distribution and subsequent loss development of Stator 2.

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