Effects of Tip Clearance Gap and Exit Mach Number on Turbine Blade Tip and Near-Tip Heat Transfer

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Virginia Tech


The present study focuses on local heat transfer characteristics on the tip and near-tip regions of a turbine blade with a flat tip, tested under transonic conditions in a stationary, 2-D linear cascade consisting of seven blades, the three center blades having a variable tip clearance gap. The effects of tip clearance and exit Mach number on heat transfer distribution were investigated on the tip surface using a transient infrared thermography technique. In addition, thin film gages were used to study similar effects on the near-tip regions at 94% based on engine blade span of the pressure and suction sides. The experiments were conducted at the Virginia Tech transonic blow-down wind tunnel facility with a seven-blade linear cascade. Surface oil flow visualizations on the blade tip region were carried-out to shed some light on the leakage flow structure. Experiments were performed at three exit Mach numbers of 0.7, 0.85, and 1.05 for two different tip clearances of 0.9% and 1.8% based on engine blade span. The exit Mach numbers tested correspond to exit Reynolds numbers of 7.6 x 105, 9.0 x 105, and 1.1 x 106 based on blade true chord. The tests were performed with a freestream turbulence intensity of 12%.

Results at 0.85 exit Mach showed that an increase in the tip gap clearance translates into a 12% increase in the heat transfer coefficients on the blade tip surface. Similarly, at 0.9% tip clearance, an increase in exit Mach number from 0.85 to 1.05 also led to a 24% increase in heat transfer on the tip. High heat transfer was obtained at the leading edge area of the blade tip, and an increase in the tip clearance gap and exit Mach number augmented this leading edge heat transfer. At 94% of engine blade span on the suction side near the tip, a peak in heat transfer was observed in all test cases at an s/C of 0.66 due to the onset of a downstream leakage vortex. At the design condition, this peak represents an increase of a factor of 2.5 from the immediate preceding s/C location. An increase in both the tip gap and exit Mach number resulted in an increase, followed by a decrease in the near-tip suction side heat transfer. On the near-tip pressure side, a slight increase in heat transfer was observed with increased tip gap and exit Mach number. In general, the suction side heat transfer is greater than the pressure side heat transfer as a result of the suction side leakage vortices.



Thin Film Gage, Turbine Blade, Tip Clearance, Heat--Transmission, Transonic