Comparative Analysis of Serrated Trailing Edge Designs on Idealized Aircraft Engine Fan Blades for Noise Reduction

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Virginia Tech


The effects of serrated trailing edge designs, designed for noise reduction, on the flow-field downstream of an idealized aircraft engine fan blade row were investigated in detail. The measurements were performed in the Virginia Tech low speed linear cascade tunnel on one set of baseline GE-Rotor-B blades and four sets of GE-Rotor-B blades with serrated trailing edges. The four serrated blade sets consisted of two different serration sizes (1.27 cm and 2.54 cm) and for each different serration size a second set of blades with added trailing edge camber. The cascade row consisted of 8 GE-Rotor-B blades and 7-passages with adjustable tip gap settings. It had an inlet angle of 65.1º, stagger angle of 56.9º and a turning angle of 11.8º. The tunnel was operated with a tip gap setting of 1.65% chord, with a Reynolds number based on the chord of 390,000.

Blade loading measurements performed on each set of blades showed that it was slightly dependent on the serration shape. As the serration size was increased the blade loading decreased, but adding droop increased the blade loading.

The Pitot-static cross-sections showed that flow-fields near the upper and lower endwalls cascade tunnel were similar with the baseline or the serrated blade downstream of the blade row. In the wake region, the individual trailing edge serrations tips and valleys could be seen. As the wake convected downstream, the individual tips and valleys became less visible and the wake was more uniform in profile. The tip leakage vortex was only minimally affected by the trailing edge serrations. This conclusion was further reinforced by the three-component hot-wire cross-sectional measurements that were performed from the lower endwall to the mid-span of the blade. These showed that the mean streamwise velocity, turbulence kinetic energy and turbulence kinetic energy production in the tip leakage region were nearly the same for all four serrated blades as well as the baseline. The vorticity in this region was a more dependent on the serration shape and as a result increased with serration size compared to the baseline.

Mid-span measurements performed with the three-component hot-wire showed the spreading rate of the wake and the decay rate of the wake centerline velocity deficit increased with serration size compared to the baseline case. Drooping of the trailing edge only minimally improved the spreading and decay rates. This improvement in these rates was predicted to reduce the tonal noise at the leading edge of the downstream stator vane because the periodic fluctuation associated with the sweeping of the rotor blade wakes across it, was due to the pitchwise variation in the mean streamwise velocity. The wakes were further compared to the mean velocity and turbulence profiles of plane wakes, which the baseline and the smallest serration size agreed the best. As the serration size was increased and drooping was added, the wakes became less like plane wakes. Spectral plots at the wake centerline in all three velocity directions showed some evidence of coherent motion in the wake as a result of vortex shedding.



Turbulence Interaction, Blade-Wake Interaction, Noise, Tip Leakage Vortex, Serrated Trailing Edge, Hot-Wire, Aircraft Engine, Fan