More sophisticated cooling schemes are required for the turbine blade due to the demand of increased turbine temperature for improved performance. Although the tip portion of a turbine blade is one of the most critical portions in a gas turbine, there are few studies on cooling this portion compared to those for airfoil, especially film cooling strategies. Industrial gas turbines have a more uniform gas temperature profile than aero engines. For these applications, it is more important to understand the characteristics of tip film cooling to improve the blade durability and gas turbine performance by reducing cooling air. A numerical and experimental program was initiated to study film cooling effectiveness on a flat blade tip as a function of tip gap and mass flux ratios. Flow visualization tests were conducted with and without film cooling to verify the numerical CFD findings. The predictions and visualization results showed that a separation bubble forms at the pressure side edge that increases with tip gap. Film effectiveness measurements were carried out on a 1.3X scale blade model in a low speed test while simulating the normalized pressure distribution typical of an engine design. The engine density ratio of the coolant to mainstream was replicated in the film cooling tests to provide the best simulation of the engine. Two rows of holes were placed near the tip of the blade to provide high film coverage prior to the flowing over the tip. The data shows that film effectiveness increases with decreasing tip clearance. Blowing ratio provides an improvement due to the added mass flow, which was shown by a non-dimensionalized correlation.

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