Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) computations have been conducted to investigate the flow and heat transfer between two co-rotating discs with an axial throughflow of cooling air and a radial bleed introduced from the shroud. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models have been coupled with a thermal model of the test rig, and the predicted metal temperature compared with the thermocouple data.
CFD solutions are shown to vary from a buoyancy driven regime to a forced convection regime, depending on the radial inflow rate prescribed at the shroud. At a high radial inflow rate, the computations show an excellent agreement with the measured temperatures through a transient rig condition. At a low radial inflow rate, the cavity flow is destabilized by the thermal stratification. Good qualitative agreement with the measurements is shown, although a significant over-prediction of disc temperatures is observed. This is associated with under prediction of the penetration of the axial throughflow into the cavity. The mismatch could be the result of strong sensitivity to the prescribed inlet conditions, in addition to possible shortcomings in the turbulence modeling.