Stricter legislation limits concerning NOx emissions are leading main aero-engine manufacturers to update the architecture of the combustors towards the implementation of lean burn combustion concept. Cooling air availability for the thermal management of combustor liners is significantly reduced, demanding even more effective liner cooling schemes. The state-of-the-art of liner cooling technology is represented by effusion cooling, consisting in a very efficient cooling strategy based on multi-perforated liners, where metal temperature is lowered by the combined protective effect of coolant film and heat removal inside the holes. The present research study aims at deepening the knowledge of effusion systems, exploiting the results of a thorough experimental campaign carried out in two different planar test rigs, equipped with a complete liner cooling scheme composed by slot injection and effusion array.

The film cooling protection was analysed using PSP (Pressure Sensitive Paint) technique, while the effect of cooling injection and extraction from the annulus on heat transfer distribution were studied by means of TLC (Thermochromic Liquid Crystals) thermography. Thermal measurements were supported by flow field investigation with standard 2D PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) in order to highlight the typical velocity distributions generated by a realistic lean injector. These detailed experimental data were exploited in a 1D thermal flow-network solver that allows to better assess the main cooling mechanisms characterising the proposed cooling system. Moreover, an optimized cooling configuration with enhanced back-side convective cooling was proposed and compared with the standard configuration in terms of metal temperature and cooling consumption.

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