The Effect of Adding Roughness and Thickness to a Transonic Axial Compressor Rotor

[+] Author and Article Information
K. L. Suder, R. V. Chima, A. J. Strazisar

NASA-Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135

W. B. Roberts

Flow Application Research and Sermatech International Inc., Fremont, CA 94539

J. Turbomach 117(4), 491-505 (Oct 01, 1995) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2836561 History: Received March 02, 1994; Online January 29, 2008


The performance deterioration of a high-speed axial compressor rotor due to surface roughness and airfoil thickness variations is reported. A 0.025 mm (0.001 in.) thick rough coating with a surface finish of 2.54–3.18 rms μm (100–125 rms μin.) is applied to the pressure and suction surface of the rotor blades. Coating both surfaces increases the leading edge thickness by 10 percent at the hub and 20 percent at the tip. Application of this coating results in a loss in efficiency of 6 points and a 9 percent reduction in the pressure ratio across the rotor at an operating condition near the design point. To separate the effects of thickness and roughness, a smooth coating of equal thickness is also applied to the blade. The smooth coating surface finish is 0.254–0.508 rms μm (10–20 rms μin.), compared to the bare metal blade surface finish of 0.508 rms pm (20 rms μin.). The smooth coating results in approximately half of the performance deterioration found from the rough coating. Both coatings are then applied to different portions of the blade surface to determine which portions of the airfoil are most sensitive to thickness/roughness variations. Aerodynamic performance measurements are presented for a number of coating configurations at 60, 80, and 100 percent of design speed. The results indicate that thickness/roughness over the first 2 percent of blade chord accounts for virtually all of the observed performance degradation for the smooth coating, compared to about 70 percent of the observed performance degradation for the rough coating. The performance deterioration is investigated in more detail at design speed using laser anemometer measurements as well as predictions generated by a quasi-three-dimensional Navier–Stokes flow solver, which includes a surface roughness model. Measurements and analysis are performed on the baseline blade and the full-coverage smooth and rough coatings. The results indicate that adding roughness at the blade leading edge causes a thickening of the blade boundary layers. The interaction between the rotor passage shock and the thickened suction surface boundary layer then results in an increase in blockage, which reduces the diffusion level in the rear half of the blade passage, thus reducing the aerodynamic performance of the rotor.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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