Challenges in predicting the turbulence in the tip region of turbomachines include anisotropy, inhomogeneity, and non-equilibrium conditions, resulting in poor correlations between the Reynold stresses and the corresponding mean strain rate components. The geometric complexity introduced by casing grooves exacerbates this problem. Taking advantage of a large database collected in the refractive index-matched liquid facility at JHU, this paper examines the evolution of turbulence in the tip region of an axial turbomachine with and without axial casing grooves, and for two flow rates. The semi-circular axial grooves are skewed by 45° in the positive circumferential direction, similar to that described in Müller et al. [1]. Comparison to results obtained for an untreated endwall includes differences in the distributions of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), Reynolds stresses, anisotropy tensor, and dominant terms in the TKE production rate. The evolution of TKE at high flow rates for blade sections located downstream of the grooves is also investigated. Common features include: with or without casing grooves, the TKE is high near the tip leakage vortex (TLV) center, and in the shear layer connecting it to the blade suction side tip corner. The turbulence is highly anisotropic and inhomogeneous, with the anisotropy tensor demonstrating shifts from one dimensional (1D) to 2D and to 3D structures over small distances. Furthermore, the correlation between the mean strain rate and Reynolds stress tensor components is poor. With the grooves, the flow structure, hence the distribution of Reynolds stresses, becomes much more complex. Turbulence is also high in the corner vortex that develops at the entrance to the grooves and in the flow jetting out of the grooves into the passage. Consistent with trends of production rates of normal Reynolds stress components, the grooves increase the axial and reduce the radial velocity fluctuations compared to the untreated endwall. These findings introduce new insight that might assist the future development of Reynolds stress models suitable for tip flows.

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