Flowfield Downstream of a Compressor Cascade with Tip Leakage


thesis.pdf (5.49 MB)
Downloads: 1901

Downloads: 50

vita.pdf (3.42 KB)
Downloads: 113

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


An 8 blade, 7 passage linear compressor cascade with tip leakage was built. The flowfield downstream of the cascade was measured using four sensor hot-wire anemometers, from which the mean velocity field , the turbulence stress field and velocity spectra were obtained. Oil flow visualizations were done on the endwall underneath the blade row. Also studied were the effects of tip gap height, and blade boundary layer trip variations. The results revealed the presence of two distinct vortical structures in the flow. The tip leakage vortex is formed due to the roll up the tip flow as it exits the tip gap region. A second vortex, counter-rotating when compared to the tip leakage vortex, is formed due to the separation of the flow leaving the tip gap from the endwall. Increasing the tip gap height increases the strength of the tip leakage vortex, and vice versa. Changing the boundary layer trip had no effect on the flowfield due the fact that boundary layers on the blade surface had separated.

As the vortices develop downstream, the tip leakage vortex convects into the passage "pushing" the counter rotating vortex with it. As it does so, the tip leakage vortex dominates the endwall flow region, and is responsible for most of the turbulence present in the downstream flow field. This turbulence production is primarily due to axial velocity gradients in the flow, and not due to the circulatory motion of the vortex. Velocity spectra taken in the core of the vortex show the broadband characteristics typical of such turbulent flows. The results also revealed that the wakes of the blades exhibit characteristics of two-dimensional plane wakes. The wake decays much faster than the vortex. Velocity spectra taken in the wake region show the broadband characteristics of such turbulent flows, and also suggest that there might be some coherent motion in the wake as a result of vortex shedding from the trailing edge of the blades. The present study reveals the complex nature of such flows, and should provide valuable information in helping to understand them.

This study was made possible with support from NASA Langley through grant number NAG-1-1801 under the supervision of Dr. Joe Posey



Flowfield, Turbulence, Hot Wires, Cascade, Compressor