The paper discusses the impact of rotor purge flows on the unsteady flow field downstream of a two-stage, two-spool test turbine. The analyzed setup is representative of the second high-pressure turbine (HPT) and the first low-pressure turbine (LPT) stage in a modern turbofan aero-engine, with a turbine center frame (TCF) with non-turning struts in-between the two turbines. All measurements were carried out for an engine-representative test vehicle setup at the Transonic Test Turbine Facility at Graz University of Technology. The test rig features a secondary air system delivering five purge flows with independent temperature and mass flow control to the HPT and LPT cavities.

This work extends the results shown in two recent publications analyzing the time-resolved flow through the same two-stage setup at fixed purge flow rates. The paper aims to provide additional input about the driving sources of unsteadiness in gas turbines for aeronautic applications, by isolating the HPT and LPT purge air contributions.

The time-resolved flow field at the LPT exit was acquired with a Fast Response Aerodynamic Pressure Probe (FRAPP) for three different purge conditions (reference case, no HPT purge case, no LPT purge case), to separate and quantify the impact of HPT and LPT purge contributions on the main flow field. The so-called Rotor Synchronic Averaging (RSA) technique was used as phase-averaging approach, to account for the unsteadiness due to both rotors. Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) was then applied to isolate the most important structures and identify their origins. The comparison of the three data-sets shows a significant influence of the HPT purge on the entire flow field at the LPT exit, even though the HPT is located far upstream, while the LPT purge impact appears to mostly affect the end-wall region.

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