Due to the dimple’s unique characteristics of comparatively low pressure loss penalty and good heat transfer enhancement performance, dimple provides a very desirable alternative internal cooling technique for gas turbine blades. In the present study, an experimental investigation was conducted to quantify the flow characteristics over staggered dimple arrays and to examine the vortex structures inside the dimples. In addition to the surface pressure measurements, a high-resolution digital Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system was also utilized to achieve detailed flow field measurements to quantify the characteristics of the turbulent channel flow over the dimple arrays in terms of the ensemble-averaged velocity, Reynolds shear stress and turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) distributions. The experimental measurement results show that the friction factor of the dimpled surface is much higher than that of a flat surface. The measured pressure distribution within a dimple reveals clearly that flow separation and attachment would occur inside each dimple. In comparison with those of a conventional channel flow with flat surface, the channel flow over the dimpled arrays was found to have much stronger Reynolds stress and higher TKE level. Such unique flow characteristics are believed to be the reasons why a dimpled surface would have a better heat transfer enhancement performance for internal cooling of turbine blades as reported in those previous studies.

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