The pressure distribution in the tip clearance region of a 2D turbine cascade was examined with reference to unknown factors which cause high heat transfer rates and burnout along the edge of the pressure surface of unshrouded cooled axial turbines.

Using a special micro-tapping technique, the pressure along a very narrow strip of the blade edge was found to be 2.8 times lower than the cascade outlet pressure. This low pressure, coupled with a thin boundary layer due to the intense acceleration at gap entry, are believed to cause blade burnout. The flow phenomena causing the low pressure are of very small scale and do not appear to have been previously reported.

The ultra low pressure is primarily caused by the sharp flow curvature demanded of the leakage flow at gap entry. The curvature is made more severe by the apparent attachement of the flow around the corner instead of immediately separating to increase the radius demanded of the flow. The low pressures are intensified by a depression in the suction corner and by the formation of a separation bubble in the clearance gap. The bubble creates a venturi action. The suction corner depression is due to the mainstream flow moving round the leakage and secondary vortices.

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