It is experimentally well-known that high anisotropy of turbulent flow field, which results from the complex shear and rotation effect, is dominant inside tip leakage vortex (TLV). With all this fact, the greater part of the numerical studies to deal with TLV have used an isotropic eddy viscosity model (EVM), and their predictions showed some disagreement with the measurement data. The main objective of the present study is to show the superior ability of the Reynolds stress model (RSM), which can naturally consider the effect of system rotation on turbulence via the rotational production term, over the isotropic EVM for predicting appropriately the complex tip leakage flow in axial type of turbomachines. To achieve this aim, the results obtained from steady-state Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes simulations based on the Spalart-Allmaras model, Renormalization Group (RNG) k-ε model and RSM are compared with the experimental data for two test configurations: a linear compressor cascade and a forward-swept axial-flow fan. This comparative study of turbulence models suggests that the RSM should be used to predict reasonably the complex tip leakage flow, especially in a rotating environment.

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