Criteria for the maximum diffusion allowable in a blade row without reaching stall play an important part in the design of highly loaded axial-flow compressors. Most of these criteria for maximum blade loading were derived from wind tunnel measurements of 2-d-steady cascade flow. As the flow field in turbomachines is extremely unsteady and of three-dimensional nature the boundary layers are influenced by these effects.

The paper deals with the results of boundary layer measurements in a stator blade channel of a subsonic axial-flow compressor stage at various operating points between unthrottled and highly throttled flow (near stall). In front of the stator, the time-averaged velocity profiles as well as the fluctuations due to the unsteady flow field downstream of the rotor were measured. The growing of the separation zones inside the channel with increased blade load is studied in detail. Photos of flow visualization in the boundary layers by dye-injection and flow patterns derived from hot-wire measurements illustrate the physics of boundary layer behavior and separation due to increasing stator blade load. The investigations include measurements of the turbulence energy and a frequency analysis of the velocity fluctuations in the boundary layers.

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