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Buoyancy-Induced Flow in Open Rotating Cavities

[+] Author Affiliations
J. Michael Owen

University of Bath, Bath, UK

Hans Abrahamsson, Klas Lindblad

Volvo Aero Corporation, Trollhättan, Sweden

Paper No. GT2006-91134, pp. 1581-1589; 9 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 3: Heat Transfer, Parts A and B
  • Barcelona, Spain, May 8–11, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4238-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3774-2
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Buoyancy-induced flow can occur in the cavity between the co-rotating compressor discs in gas-turbine engines, where the Rayleigh numbers can be in excess of 1012 . In most cases the cavity is open at the centre, and an axial throughflow of cooling air can interact with the buoyancy-induced flow between the discs. Such flows can be modeled, computationally and experimentally, by a simple rotating cavity with an axial flow of air. This paper describes work conducted as part of ICAS-GT, a major European research project. Experimental measurements of velocity, temperature and heat transfer were obtained on a purpose-built experimental rig, and these results have been reported in an earlier paper. In addition, 3D unsteady CFD computations were carried out using a commercial code (Fluent) and an RNG k-ε turbulence model. The computed velocity vectors and contours of temperature reveal a flow structure in which, as seen by previous experimenters, ‘radial arms’ transport cold air from the centre to the periphery of the cavity, and regions of cyclonic and anti-cyclonic circulation are formed on either side of each arm. The computed radial distribution of the tangential velocity agrees reasonably well with the measurements in two of the three cases considered here. In the third case, the computations significantly over-predict the measurements; the reason for this is not understood. The computed and measured values of Nu for the heated disc show qualitatively similar radial distributions, with high values near the centre and the periphery. In two of the cases, the quantitative agreement is reasonably good; in the third case, the computations significantly under-predict the measured values.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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