Introduction of roughness by ribs in flow passages is a popular method of enhancing heat transfer in the cooling passages, e.g., of turbine blades and combustors. It is essential to accurately predict the enhancement of heat transfer generated by the ribs to ensure good design decisions. In most of the studies square ribs have been considered, but in practice such ribs may appear rounded due to improper manufacturing or wear during operation. This study is focused on the effect of the rib deformations, based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD). One of the main difficulties in CFD is the reliable modeling of the underlying physics of the turbulence. This paper describes some recent efforts to validate and apply RANS-based models for predictions of turbulent flow and heat transfer in ribbed ducts, relevant to gas turbine cooling. The evaluated turbulence models include a basic low-Re k-ε model (AKN), and two promising higher order models: namely, the explicit algebraic stress model (EASM), and the V2F model. All these models are validated with available 2D experimental heat transfer and fluid flow data. Some conclusions are reached on their suitable application situations. The effect of the roundedness on heat transfer and fluid flow is presented in detail. Some possible improvements, i.e., of the deformed ribs, are proposed to suppress the hot spots, and/or to enhance the overall thermal and hydraulic performance.

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