Common gas turbine heat transfer analysis methods rely on the assumption that the driving temperature for heat transfer to a film cooled wall can be approximated by the adiabatic wall temperature. This assumption implies that the gas temperature above a film cooled adiabatic wall is representative of the overlying gas temperature on a film cooled conducting wall. This assumption has never been evaluated experimentally. In order for the adiabatic wall temperature as driving temperature for heat transfer assumption to be valid, the developing thermal boundary layer that exists above a conducting wall must not significantly affect the overriding gas temperature. In this paper, thermal fields above conducting and adiabatic walls of identical geometry and at the same experimental conditions were measured. These measurements allow for a direct comparison of the thermal fields above each wall in order to determine the validity of the adiabatic wall temperature as driving temperature for heat transfer assumption. In cases where the film cooling jet was detached, a very clear effect of the developing thermal boundary layer on the gas temperature above the wall was measured. In this case, the temperatures above the wall were clearly not well represented by the adiabatic wall temperature. For cases where the film cooling jet remained attached, differences in the thermal fields above the adiabatic and conducting wall were small, indicating a very thin thermal boundary layer existed beneath the coolant jet.

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