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Alleviation of Shock-Wave Effects on a Highly Loaded Axial Compressor Through Novel Blade Shaping

[+] Author Affiliations
Alistair John, Ning Qin

University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Shahrokh Shahpar

Rolls-Royce plc., Derby, UK

Paper No. GT2016-57550, pp. V02AT37A040; 13 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2016: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 2A: Turbomachinery
  • Seoul, South Korea, June 13–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4969-9
  • Copyright © 2016 by Rolls-Royce plc


This paper describes the use of the Free-Form-Deformation [1] parameterisation method to create a novel blade shape for a highly loaded, transonic axial compressor. The novel geometry makes use of pre-compression (via an S-shaping of the blade around mid-span) to weaken the shock and improve the aerodynamic performance.

It has been known for some time that reducing the pre-shock Mach number of transonic compressors (via pre-compression) can improve their efficiency [2]. However, early attempts at this in the 60s [3] showed undesirable results (such as bi-stable operation), leading the design community to shy away from using pre-compression [4]. This issue is re-addressed here. It is shown that using modern simulation, optimisation and a 3D design, large amounts of pre-compression may be employed without the negative effects that plagued early attempts.

This paper shows how Free-Form-Deformation offers superior flexibility over traditionally used parameterisation methods. The novel design (produced via an efficient optimisation method) is presented and the resulting flow analysed in detail. The efficiency benefit is over 2%, surpassing other results in the literature for the same geometry. The pre-compression effect of the S-shape is analysed and explained, and the entropy increase across the shock (along the mid-blade line) is shown to be reduced by almost 80%. Adjoint surface sensitivity analysis of the datum and optimised designs is presented, showing that the S-shape is located in the region predicted to be most significant for changes in efficiency. Finally the off-design performance of the blade is analysed across the rotor characteristics at various speeds.

Copyright © 2016 by Rolls-Royce plc



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