Although compressor blades have long been shrouded for aerodynamic and structural reasons, the impact of the leakage flow in the shroud cavities on passage flows has only recently been investigated. Furthermore, the tangential velocity of the leakage flow, set by the blading and the relative motion between rotating and stationary surfaces, has a strong influence on the passage flow. Yet the influence of the tangential velocity variation on the kinematics and dynamics (loss) of the leakage flow (from its ingress to egress) in the shrouded cavity and main flow in the blade passage are unknown. Therefore, this paper reports on an experimental investigation of the axial evolution of loss generation in the blade passage and behavior of the leakage flow in the seal cavity in shrouded axial compressor cascades subject to the variation of leakage tangential velocity. The newly found results are as follows. First, increasing tangential velocity of the leakage flow reduces loss at 10% and 50% chordwise locations in the passage. However, most of the blockage and loss reductions occurs in the aft half chord and downstream of the blade passage. Second, the increasing tangential velocity spreads the loss core, which is originally concentrated in the suction side hub corner, in the pitchwise direction. Thus, the loss core becomes more two-dimensional, and the region’s radial extent is reduced. Third, increasing tangential velocity of the leakage flow makes the near hub passage flow more radially uniform. Consequently, the shear and resultant mixing loss between the passage and leakage flows are reduced near the hub, reducing the overall loss. Finally, the leakage flow is ingested through the downstream cavity and makes an abrupt turn at the seal tooth. Thus, two distinct flow regions — downstream and upstream of the single-tooth seal — are found. Before the leakage flow rejoins the mainstream via the upstream cavity trench, the leakage flow circumferentially migrates in the direction of rotation. The magnitude of the circumferential shift depends strongly on the leakage tangential velocity.

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