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The Flow Field and Main Gas Ingestion in a Rotor-Stator Cavity

[+] Author Affiliations
R. P. Roy, D. W. Zhou, S. Ganesan

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

C.-Z. Wang, R. E. Paolillo

Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford, CT

B. V. Johnson

InfoTech Aerospace Services, Manchester, CT

Paper No. GT2007-27671, pp. 1189-1198; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2007: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 4: Turbo Expo 2007, Parts A and B
  • Montreal, Canada, May 14–17, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4793-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3796-3
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The ingestion of mainstream gas into turbine rotor-stator disk cavities and simultaneously, the egress of cavity gas into the main gas path are consequences of the prevailing unsteady, three-dimensional flow field. To understand these processes, we are carrying out a study that combines experiments in a model single-stage axial turbine with computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations. The turbine stage features vanes, blades, and axially overlapping radial clearance rim seal. In this paper, we present time-resolved velocity maps, obtained by particle image velocimetry, of the flow in the disk cavity at four experimental conditions as defined by the main air flow rate, rotor speed, and purge air flow rate. Time-averaged but spatially local measurement of main air ingestion is also presented. Significant ingestion occurred at two of the four experimental conditions where the purge air flow rate was low — it is found that high tangential (swirl) velocity fluid intersperses with lower tangential velocity fluid in the rim region of the cavity. It is argued that the high tangential velocity fluid is comprised of the ingested main air, while the lower tangential velocity fluid is the indigenous cavity air. This interpretation is corroborated by the results of the unsteady, three-dimensional CFD simulation. When the purge flow rate was high, no ingestion occurred as expected; also, large-scale structures that were unsteady appeared in the cavity flow giving rise to large velocity fluctuations. It is necessary to obtain time-resolved information from experiments and computation in such a flow because even when the vane-blade relative position is matched during a particular experiment, the instantaneous flow field does not necessarily remain the same. As such, some of the flow patterns will be smeared out if the interrogation time scale is large.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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