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Unsteady Flow Structures within a Turbine Rim Seal Cavity in the Presence of Purge Flow—An Experimental and Computational Unsteady Aerodynamics Investigation

1
Turbomachinery Aero-heat Transfer Laboratory, Department of Aerospace Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
2
Current Address: Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp., West Mifflin, PA 15122, USA
3
Current Address: Applied Research Lab., The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our conference paper “Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Unsteady Structures within the Rim Seal Cavity in the Presence of Purge Mass Flow”, published in the Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2016: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition, Volume 2B: Turbomachinery, Seoul, South Korea, 13–17 June 2016; reprinted with permission of ASME.
Aerospace 2019, 6(5), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6050060
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 14 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 25 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Secondary Air Systems in Gas Turbine Engines)
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Abstract

Flow within the space between the rotor and stator of a turbine disk, and an area referred to as the rim seal cavity, develops azimuthal velocity component from the rotor disk. The fluid within develops unsteady structures that move at a fraction of the rotor speed. A test is designed to measure the number of unsteady structures and the rotational speed at which they are moving in the rim seal cavity of an experimental research rig. Data manipulation was developed to extract the speed, and the numbers of structures present using two fast-response aerodynamic probes measuring static pressure on the surface of the nozzle guide vane (NGV)-side rim seal cavity. A computational study is done to compare measured results to a transient unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS). The computational simulation consists of eight vanes and ten blades, carefully picked to reduce the error caused by blade vane pitch mismatch and to allow for the structures to develop correctly, and the rim seal cavity to measure the speed and number of the structures. The experimental results found 15 structures moving at 77.5% of the rotor speed, and the computational study suggested 14.5 structures are moving at 81.7% rotor speed. The agreement represents the first known test of its kind in a large-scale turbine test rig and the first known “good” agreement between computational and experimental work. View Full-Text
Keywords: axial turbines; rim seal cavity; purge flow; ingress; egress; unsteady flow structures; turbine experiments; URANS calculations axial turbines; rim seal cavity; purge flow; ingress; egress; unsteady flow structures; turbine experiments; URANS calculations
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Camci, C.; Averbach, M.; Town, J. Unsteady Flow Structures within a Turbine Rim Seal Cavity in the Presence of Purge Flow—An Experimental and Computational Unsteady Aerodynamics Investigation. Aerospace 2019, 6, 60.

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