This paper describes experimental results from a research facility which experimentally models hot-gas ingress into the wheel-space of an axial turbine stage with an axial-clearance rim seal. Thermochromic liquid crystal (TLC) was used to determine the effect of ingestion on heat transfer to the rotating disc; as far as the authors are aware, this is the first time that the measured effects of ingestion on adiabatic temperature have been published. An adiabatic effectiveness for the rotor was defined, and this definition was used to determine when the effect of ingress was first experienced by the rotor. Concentration measurements on the stator were used to determine the sealing effectiveness of the rim seal, and transient heat transfer tests with heated sealing air were used to determine the adiabatic effectiveness of the rotor. The thermal buffer ratio, which is defined as the ratio of the sealing flow rate when ingress first occurs to that when it is first experienced by the rotor, was shown to depend on the turbulent flow parameter. The local Nusselt numbers, Nu, which were measured on the rotor, were significantly smaller than those for a free disc; they decreased as the sealing flow rate decreased and as the ingress correspondingly increased. The values of Nu and adiabatic effectiveness obtained in these experiments provide data for the validation of CFD codes but caution is needed if they (particularly the values of Nu) are to be extrapolated to engine conditions.

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