The turbine center frame (TCF) is an inherent component of turbofan aircraft engines and is used for connecting the high-pressure turbine (HPT) to the low-pressure turbine (LPT). Its position immediately downstream of the HPT makes it susceptible to the extremely high temperatures of future engines. Despite this, fundamental knowledge of heat transfer in TCFs and the influencing factors is still missing.

This paper presents a new 45° sector-cascade test rig specifically designed for fundamental studies of film cooling effectiveness and heat transfer coefficient in TCFs and for the development and validation of a measurement technique involving infrared thermography and heating foils.

Measurements of heat transfer coefficient in the TCF were taken for two purge-to-mainstream mass flow ratios corresponding to the case of no purge and nominal (to engine operation) purge. The magnitude of the heat transfer coefficients on the hub and strut surfaces was highly influenced by the various flow structures in the passage and by the velocity variation of the mainstream flow due to the “aggressive” design of the TCF. Heat transfer on the surface of the strut was mainly governed by boundary layer behavior (laminar near the leading edge and turbulent for the rest of the strut) augmented by the effect of the secondary flow structures.

Measurements of film cooling effectiveness were also taken for the single case of nominal purge. A region of high film cooling effectiveness was observed, extending from the purge cavity exit to about 40% of the passage axial length. In this region, the effectiveness decreased with increasing axial length. On the surface of the struts and fillet radii the film cooling effectiveness was found to be zero. This was attributed to the effect of the horse-shoe vortex which sweeps the purge flow away from the strut surface and dilutes it by continuously entraining hot mainstream flow.

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