Heat transfer in the tip region of a rotor blade simulator


In gas turbines, the blades of axial turbine stages rotate in close proximity to a stationary peripheral wall. Differential expansion of the turbine wheel, blades, and the shroud causes variations in the size of the clearance gap between blade tip and stationary shroud. The necessity to tolerate this differential thermal expansion dictates that the clearance gap cannot be eliminated altogether, despite accurate engine machining. Pressure differences between the pressure and suction sides of a blade drives a flow through the clearance gap. This flow, the tip leakage flow, is detrimental to engine performance. The primary detrimental effect of tip leakage flow is the reduction of turbine stage efficiency, and a second is the convective heat transfer associated with the flow. The surface area at the blade tip in contact with the hot working gas represents an additional thermal loading on the blade which, together with heat transfer to the suction and pressure side surface area, must be removed by the blade internal cooling flows. Experimental results concerned with the local heat transfer characteristics on all surfaces of shrouded, rectangular cavities are reported. A brief discussion of the mass transfer system used is given

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