The effect of film cooling on a high pressure turbine blade with an open squealer tip has been examined in a high speed linear cascade. The cascade operates at engine realistic Mach and Reynolds numbers, producing transonic flow conditions over the blade tip. Tests have been performed on two uncooled tip geometries with differing pressure side rim edge radii, and a cooled tip matching one of the uncooled cases.

The pressure sensitive paint technique has been used to measure adiabatic film cooling effectiveness on the blade tip at a range of tip gaps and coolant mass flow rates. Complementary tip heat transfer coefficients (HTC) have been measured using transient infrared thermography, and the effects of the coolant film on the tip heat transfer and engine heat flux examined.

The uncooled data show that the tip heat transfer coefficient distribution is governed by the nature of flow reattachments and impingements. The squealer tip can be broken down into three regions, each exhibiting a distinct response to a change in the tip gap, depending on the local behaviour of the overtip leakage flow. The edge radius of the pressure side rim causes the overtip leakage flow to change dramatically at low clearance. Complementary CFD shows that the addition of casing motion causes no further change on the pressure side rim.

Injected coolant interacts with the overtip leakage flow, which can locally enhance the tip heat transfer coefficient compared to the uncooled tip. The film effectiveness is dependent on both the coolant mass flow rate and tip clearance. At increased coolant mass flow, areas of high film effectiveness on the pressure side rim coincide strongly with a net heat flux reduction and in the subsonic tip region with low heat transfer coefficient.

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