Recent advancements in internal combustion engine for efficient fuel combustion, such as application of miller cycle, where the closing of engine intake valve is purposely delayed to provide more cooling of air-fuel mixture during compression stroke for better engine efficiency, has led to a requirement for turbochargers to function at a wider operating range and higher compression ratio. One of the methods which have been largely accepted is the use of variable geometry turbochargers. As compared to diesel engine, operating conditions for gasoline engine require the turbine to operate at higher exhaust temperature, which increases the risk of damaging the rotor.
This paper discusses a detailed flow analysis of the effect of tip leakage and nozzle vane wake flow on surface pressure distribution of the turbine rotor, especially at the severe condition when vane trailing edge and rotor leading edge are in proximity. It was observed in steady and unsteady CFD simulations that the origination and propagation of tip leakage flow can be varied depending on the blade loading at the rotor leading edge, and the major interaction of nozzle wake can be switched from pressure surface to suction surface as rotor blade crossed a nozzle vane, which can drastically affect the alternating aerodynamic stresses. The sensitivity to this phenomenon has been evaluated by calculating the safety factor.
The authors modified the rotor design to weaken the effect of tip leakage flow in order to suppress variations in rotor surface pressure as it crosses the nozzle vane. It significantly reduced the alternating stress and increased the safety factor at vibration mode 2 from 0.3 to 9.3 and mode 3 from 0.6 to 3.2 respectively.