Three-dimensional highly complex flow structure in tip gap between blade tip and casing leads to inefficient turbine performance due to aerothermal loss. Interaction between leakage vortex and secondary flow structures is the substantial source of that loss. Different types of squealer tip geometries were tried in the past, in order to improve turbine efficiency. The current research deals with comparison of partial and cavity type squealer tip concepts for higher aerothermal performance. Effects of squealer tip have been examined comprehensively for an unshrouded HP turbine blade tip geometry in a linear cascade. In the present paper, flow structure through the tip gap was comprehensively investigated by computational fluid dynamic (CFD) methods. Numerical calculations were obtained by solving three-dimensional, incompressible, steady, and turbulent form of the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations using a general purpose and three-dimensional viscous flow solver. The two-equation turbulence model, shear stress transport (SST), has been used. The tip profile belonging to the Pennsylvania State University Axial Flow Turbine Research Facility (AFTRF) was used to create an extruded solid model of the axial turbine blade. For identifying optimal dimensions of squealer rim in terms of squealer height and squealer width, our previous studies about aerothermal investigation of cavity type squealer tip were utilized. In order to obtain the mesh, an effective parametric generation has been utilized using a multizone structured mesh. Numerical calculations indicate that partial and cavity squealer designs can be effective to reduce the aerodynamic loss and heat transfer to the blade tip. Future efforts will include novel squealer shapes for higher aerothermal performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering