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Fan Blade Design Methods: Cascade Versus Isolated Airfoil Approach — Experimental and Numerical Comparison

[+] Author Affiliations
Stefano Castegnaro

University of Padova, Padova, Italy

Paper No. GT2016-56994, pp. V001T09A007; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2016: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Aircraft Engine; Fans and Blowers; Marine
  • Seoul, South Korea, June 13–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4968-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Both cascade and isolated airfoil methods are considered valid in axial fan blade design, for high (σ≳1) and low (σ≲0.7) solidities respectively. For bladings that feature intermediate solidities the modified isolated approach is commonly employed. This method uses isolated airfoil data, with proper adjustments to take into account multiplane interference effects. Contrarily, the literature does not refer about modifications of the cascade approach to design medium solidity fans. Such method would use cascade data, properly adjusted for the blade sections at lower solidities. Thus, with the aim of comparing these two opposite design approaches (modified cascade versus modified isolated) for medium solidity blades, two free-vortex blading were designed for a 315 mm rotor-only axial fan and experimentally tested. CFD analyses were performed as well to obtain the local flow features. NACA-65 series airfoils were employed, as both cascade and isolated data are available for chord Reynolds numbers typical of axial fans applications. Results highlight the differences between the two approaches. Finally, a mixed approach that employs both isolated and cascade data is suggested as the most accurate one. Moreover, results also show the detrimental effects of the low chord Reynolds numbers on the performance of the blades. This effect should be taken into account in blade design for small-to-medium size machines.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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