A comprehensive experimental investigation was undertaken to explore the flow field in the tip clearance region of a turbine rotor to understand the physics of tip leakage flow. Specifically the paper looks at its origin, nature, development, interaction with the secondary flow, and its effects on performance. The experimental study was based on data obtained using a rotating five-hole probe, Laser Doppler Velocimeter, high-response pressure probes on the casing, and static pressure taps on the rotor blade surfaces. The first part of the paper deals with the pressure field and losses. Part II presents and interprets the vorticity, velocity, and turbulence fields at several axial locations. The data provided here indicates that the tip leakage vortex originates in the last half chord. The leakage vortex is confined close to the suction surface corner near the blade tip by the relative motion of the blade and the casing, and by the secondary flow in the tip region. The tip leakage flow clings to the blade suction surface until midchord then lifts off of the suction surface to form a vortex in the last 20 percent of the blade chord. The relative motion between blades and casing leads to the development of a scraping vortex that, along with the secondary flow, reduces the propagation of the tip leakage flow into the mainflow. The rotational effects and coriolis forces modify the turbulence structure in the tip leakage flow and secondary flow as compared to cascades.
Tip Clearance Effects in a Turbine Rotor: Part II—Velocity Field and Flow Physics
Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute and presented at the 45th International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition, Munich, Germany, May 8–11, 2000. Manuscript received by the International Gas Turbine Institute February 2000. Paper No. 2000-GT-477. Review Chair: D. Ballal.
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McCarter, A. A., Xiao, X., and Lakshminarayana, B. (February 1, 2000). "Tip Clearance Effects in a Turbine Rotor: Part II—Velocity Field and Flow Physics ." ASME. J. Turbomach. April 2001; 123(2): 305–313. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1368880
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