Asymmetric tip clearance in an axial compressor induces pressure and velocity redistributions along the circumferential direction in an axial compressor. This paper presents the mechanism of the flow redistribution due to the asymmetric tip clearance with a simple numerical modeling. The flow field of a rotor of an axial compressor is predicted when an asymmetric tip clearance occurs along the circumferential direction. The modeling results are supported by CFD results not only to validate the present modeling but also to investigate more detailed flow fields. Asymmetric tip clearance makes local flow area and resultant axial velocity vary along the circumferential direction. This flow redistribution ‘seed’ results in a different flow patterns according to the flow coefficient. Flow field redistribution patterns are largely dependent on the local tip clearance performance at low flow coefficients. However, the contribution of the main flow region becomes dominant while the tip clearance effect becomes weak as the flow coefficient increases. The flow field redistribution pattern becomes noticeably strong if a blockage effect is considered when the flow coefficient increases. The relative flow angle at the small clearance region decreases which result in a negative incidence angle at the high flow coefficient. It causes a recirculation region at the blade pressure surface which results in the flow blockage. It promotes the strength of the flow field redistribution at the rotor outlet. These flow pattern changes take an effect on the blade loading perturbations. The integration of blade loading perturbation from control volume of the circumferential momentum analysis leads to well-known Alford’s force. Alford’s force is always negative when the flow blockage effects are excluded. However when the flow blockage effect is incorporated into the modeling, main flow effects on the flow redistribution is also reflected on the Alford’s force at the high flow coefficient. Alford’s force steeply increases as the flow coefficient increases, because of the tip leakage suppression and strong flow redistribution. The predicted results are well agreed to CFD results by Kang and Kang (2006).

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