End-wall flows are amongst the main sources of losses in the rear stages of a typical multi-stage axial compressor. Reducing the tip leakage losses in the rotor blades and vanes can provide an increased efficiency and stall margin of a given axial compressor stage. One approach is to use squealer tips, which are traditionally designed to minimize the effect of tip rubbing. However, squealers can also provide a significant performance benefit, when designed considering aerodynamics from the beginning, as shown in this paper. A CFD based methodology, in which the blade or vane thickness distribution is varied in a controlled manner was developed. This design methodology was used to create different types of squealer tip geometry for a representative stage in a low speed compressor rig. Three different tip concepts were designed, based on a Suction Side Squealer, on a Pressure Side Squealer and on the combination of the two being merged between the leading edge and trailing edge, this new design is called the SuPr Tip. Subsequent experimental tests carried out agreed with the predicted relative ranking of the different squealer designs and on the superior performance of the SuPr tip design over the others, thus validating the methodology and the design process.

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