Engine designers require accurate predictions of ingestion (or ingress) principally caused by circumferential pressure asymmetry in the mainstream annulus. Cooling air systems provide purge flow designed to limit metal temperatures and protect vulnerable components from the hot gases which would otherwise be entrained into disc cavities through clearances between rotating and static discs. Rim seals are fitted at the periphery of these discs to minimise purge. The mixing between the efflux of purge (or egress) and the mainstream gases near the hub end-wall results in a deterioration of aerodynamic performance.

This paper presents experimental results using a turbine test rig with wheel-spaces upstream and downstream of a rotor disc. Ingress and egress was quantified using a CO2 concentration probe, with seeding injected into the upstream and downstream sealing flows. The probe measurements have identified an outer region in the wheel-space and confirmed the expected flow structure. For the first time, asymmetric variations of concentration have been shown to penetrate through the seal clearance and the outer portion of the wheel-space between the discs. For a given flow coefficient in the annulus, the concentration profiles were invariant with rotational Reynolds number. The measurements also reveal that the egress provides a film-cooling benefit on the vane and rotor platforms. Further, these measurements provide unprecedented insight into the flow interaction, and provide quantitative data for CFD validation, which should help reduce the use of purge and improve engine efficiency.

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