The mainstream, or primary, flow in a gas turbine annulus is characteristically two-dimensional over the mid-span region of the blading, where the radial flow is almost negligible. Contrastingly, the flow in the endwall and tip regions of the blading is highly three-dimensional, characterised by boundary layer effects, secondary flow features and interaction with cooling flows. Engine designers employ geometric contouring of the endwall region in order to reduce secondary flow effects and subsequently minimise their contribution to aerodynamic loss.
Such is the geometric variation of vane and blade profiles — which has become a proprietary art form — the specification of an effective endwall geometry is equally unique to each blade-row. Endwall design methods, which are often directly coupled to aerodynamic optimisers, are widely developed to assist with the generation of contoured surfaces. Most of these construction methods are limited to the blade-row under investigation, while few demonstrate the controllability required to offer a universal platform for endwall design.
This paper presents a Geometry Generation Framework (GGF) for the generation of contoured endwalls. The framework employs an adaptable meshing strategy, capable of being applied to any vane or blade, and a versatile function-based approach to defining the endwall shape. The flexibility of this novel approach is demonstrated by recreating a selection of endwalls from the literature, which were selected for their wide-range of contouring approaches.