The clearance size of cantilevered stators affects the performance and stability of axial compressors significantly. Numerical calculations were carried out using the commercial software FINE/Turbo for a 2.5-stage highly loaded transonic axial compressor, which is of cantilevered stator for the first stage, at varying hub clearance sizes. The aim of this work is to improve understanding of the impact mechanism of hub clearance on the performance and the flow field in high flow turning conditions. The performance of the front stage and the compressor with different hub clearance sizes of the first stator has been analyzed firstly. Results show that the efficiency decreases as clearance size varies from 0 to 3% of hub chordlength, but the operating range has been extended. For the first stage, the efficiency decreases about 0.5% and the stall margin is extended. The following analysis of detailed flow field in the first stator shows that the clearance leakage flow and elimination of hub corner separation is responsible for the increasing loss and stall margin extending respectively. The effects of hub clearance on the downstream rotor have been discussed lastly. It indicates that the loss of the rotor increases and the flow deteriorates due to increasing of clearance size and hence the leakage mass flow rate, which mainly results from the interaction of upstream leakage flow with the passage flow near pressure surface. The affected region of rotor passage flow field expands in spanwise and streamwise direction as clearance size grows. The hub clearance leakage flow moves upward in span as it flows toward downstream.

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