The blade tip region of the shroud-less high-pressure gas turbine is exposed to an extremely operating condition with combined high temperature and high heat transfer coefficient. It is critical to design new tip structures and apply effective cooling method to protect the blade tip. Multi-cavity squealer tip has the potential to reduce the huge thermal loads and improve the aerodynamic performance of the blade tip region. In this paper, numerical simulations were performed to predict the aerothermal performance of the multi-cavity squealer tip in a heavy-duty gas turbine cascade. Different turbulence models were validated by comparing to the experimental data. It was found that results predicted by the shear-stress transport with the γ-Reθ transition model have the best precision. Then, the film cooling performance, the flow field in the tip gap and the leakage losses were presented with several different multi-cavity squealer tip structures, under various coolant to mainstream mass flow ratios (MFR) from 0.05% to 0.15%. The results show that the ribs in the multi-cavity squealer tip could change the flow structure in the tip gap for that they would block the coolant and the leakage flow. In this study, the case with one-cavity (1C) achieves the best film cooling performance under a lower MFR. However, the cases with multi-cavity (2C, 3C, 4C) show higher film cooling effectiveness under a higher MFR of 0.15%, which are 32.6%%, 34.2%% and 41.0% higher than that of the 1C case. For the aerodynamic performance, the case with single-cavity has the largest total pressure loss coefficient in all MFR studied, whereas the case with two-cavity obtains the smallest total pressure loss coefficient, which is 7.6% lower than that of the 1C case.

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