Abstract

Ongoing experiments conducted in a one-and-half stages axial compressor installed in the JHU refractive index-matched facility investigate the evolution of flow structure across blade rows. After previously focusing only on the rotor tip region, the present stereo-PIV (SPIV) measurements are performed in a series of axial planes covering an entire passage across the machine, including upstream of the IGV, IGV-rotor gap, rotor-stator gap, and downstream of the stator. The measurements are performed at flow rates corresponding to pre-stall condition and best efficiency point (BEP). Data are acquired for various rotor-blade orientations relative to the IGV and stator blades. The results show that at BEP, the wakes of IGV and rotor are much more distinct and the wake signatures of one row persists downstream of the next, e.g., the flow downstream of the stator is strongly affected by the rotor orientation. In contrast, under pre-stall conditions, the rotor orientation has minimal effect on the flow structure downstream of the stator. However, the wakes of the stator blades, where the axial momentum is low, are now wider. For both conditions, the flow downstream of the rotor is characterized by two regions of axial momentum deficit in addition to the rotor wake. A deficit on the pressure side of the rotor wake tip is associated with the tip leakage vortex (TLV) of the previous rotor blade, and is much broader at pre-stall condition. A deficit on the suction side of the rotor wake near the hub appears to be associated with the hub vortex generated by the neighboring blade, and is broader at BEP. At pre-stall, while the axial momentum upstream of the rotor decreases over the entire tip region, it is particularly evident near the rotor blade tip, where the instantaneous axial velocity becomes intermittently negative. Downstream of the rotor, there is a substantial reduction in mean axial momentum in the upper half of the passage, concurrently with an increase in the circumferential velocity. Consequently, the incidence angle upstream of the stator increases in certain regions by up to 30 degrees. These observations suggest that while the onset of the stall originates from the rotor tip flow, one must examine its impact on the flow structure in the stator passage as well.

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