The present paper gives a contribution to a better understanding of the emergence of Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities (KHI) in gas turbines. In an earlier paper of the authors, the occurrence of the KHI’s near the rim cavity of a 1.5 stage gas turbine has been examined by use of CFD methods. It is shown that the KHI’s occur, when the swirl component of the hot gas flow is very strong. Due to the fact, that a high swirl is produced by the guide vanes of the first stage, this matter concerns all common gas turbines. In order to get a basic theoretical background of the emergence of the KHI’s, 2D CFD investigations of the flow behind a splitter plate have been performed showing the development of KHI’s downstream of the splitter plate. To validate the numerical results a comparison to test rig data is used. This shows that the numerical method can simulate the characteristics of the KHI’s. Furthermore, a parameter study is conducted to extract parameters describing the appearance of KHI’s, the vortex periodicity and stability criteria. The main intention of this paper is to deliver “KHI parameters”, which are able to describe the development of the KHI in gas turbine rim cavities.

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