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Flow Non-Uniformities and Turbulent “Hot Spots” Due to Wake-Blade and Wake-Wake Interactions in a Multistage Turbomachine

[+] Author Affiliations
Yi-Chih Chow, Oguz Uzol, Joseph Katz

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Paper No. GT2002-30667, pp. 1215-1227; 13 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2002: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 5: Turbo Expo 2002, Parts A and B
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 3–6, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3610-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3601-0
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


This experimental study provides striking examples of the complex flow and turbulence structure resulting from blade-wake and wake-wake interactions in a multi-stage turbomachine. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements are performed within the entire 2nd stage of a two-stage turbomachine. The experiments are performed in a facility that allows unobstructed view of the entire flow field, facilitated using transparent rotor and stator and a fluid that has the same optical index of refraction as the blades. This paper contains data on the phase-averaged flow structure including velocity, vorticity and strain-rate, as well as the turbulent kinetic energy and shear stress, at mid span, for several orientation of the rotor relative to the stator. Two different test setups with different blade geometries are used in order to highlight and elucidate complex phenomena involved, as well as to demonstrate that some of the interactions are characteristic to turbomachines and can be found in a variety of geometries. The first part of the paper deals with the interaction of a 2nd stage rotor with the wakes of both the rotor and the stator of the 1st stage. Even before interacting with the blade, localized regions with concentrated mean vorticity and elevated turbulence levels form at the intersection of the rotor and stator wakes of the 1st stage. These phenomena persist even after being ingested by the rotor blade of the 2nd stage. As the wake segment of the 1st stage rotor blade arrives to the 2nd stage, the rotor blades become submerged in its elevated turbulence levels, and separate the region with positive vorticity that travels along the pressure side of the blade, from the region with negative vorticity that remains on the suction side. The 1st stage stator wake is chopped-off by the blades. Due to difference in mean tangential velocity, the stator wake segment on the pressure side is advected faster than the segment on the suction side (in the absolute frame of reference), creating discontinuities in the stator wake trajectory. The non-uniformities in phase-averaged velocity distributions generated by the wakes of the 1st stage persist while passing through the 2nd stage rotor. The combined effects of the 1st stage blade rows cause 10°–12° variations of flow angle along the pressure side of the blade. Thus, in spite of the large gap between the 1st and 2nd rotors (compared to typical rotor-stator spacings in axial compressors), 6.5 rotor axial chords, the wake-blade interactions are substantial. The second part focuses on the flow structure at the intersection of the wakes generated by a rotor and a stator located upstream of it. In both test setups the rotor wake is sheared by the non-uniformities in the horizontal velocity distributions, which are a direct result of the “discontinuities” in the trajectories of the stator wake. This shearing creates a kink in the trajectory of the rotor wake, a quadruple structure in the distribution of strain, regions with concentrated vorticity, high turbulence levels and high shear stresses, the latter with a complex structure that resembles the mean strain. Although the “hot spots” diffuse as they are advected downstream, they still have elevated turbulence levels compared to the local levels around them. In fact, every region of wake intersection has an elevated turbulence level.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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