High pressure turbine blade tips are critical for gas turbine performance and are sensitive to small geometric variations. For this reason, it is increasingly important for experiments and simulations to consider real geometry features. One commonly absent detail is the presence of welding beads on the cavity of the blade tip, which are an inherent by-product of the blade manufacturing process. This paper therefore investigates how such welds affect the Nusselt number, film cooling effectiveness and aerodynamic performance.

Measurements are performed on a linear cascade of high pressure turbine blades at engine realistic Mach and Reynolds numbers. Two cooled blade tip geometries were tested: a baseline squealer geometry without welding beads, and a case with representative welding beads added to the tip cavity. Combinations of two tip gaps and several coolant mass flow rates were analysed. Pressure sensitive paint was used to measure the adiabatic film cooling effectiveness on the tip, which is supplemented by heat transfer coefficient measurements obtained via infrared thermography. Drawing from all of this data, it is shown that the weld beads have a generally detrimental impact on thermal performance, but with local variations. Aerodynamic loss measured downstream of the cascade is shown to be largely insensitive to the weld beads.

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