Mass injection upstream of the tip of a high-speed axial compressor rotor is a stability enhancement approach known to be effective in suppressing stall in tip-critical rotors. This process is examined in a transonic axial compressor rotor through experiments and time-average Navier-Stokes CFD simulations. Measurements and simulations for discrete injection are presented for a range of injection rates and distributions of injectors around the annulus.

The simulations indicate that tip injection increases stability by unloading the rotor tip and that increasing injection velocity improves the effectiveness of tip injection. For the tested rotor, experimental results demonstrate that at 70% speed the stalling flow coefficient can be reduced by 30% using an injected massflow equivalent to 1% of the annulus flow. At design speed, the stalling flow coefficient was reduced by 6% using an injected massflow equivalent to 2% of the annulus flow. The experiments show that stability enhancement is related to the mass-averaged axial velocity at the tip. For a given injected massflow, the mass averaged axial velocity at the tip is increased by injecting flow over discrete portions of the circumference as opposed to full-annular injection. The implications of these results on the design of recirculating casing treatments and other methods to enhance stability will be discussed.

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