Experimental and computational techniques are used to investigate tip clearance flows in a transonic axial compressor rotor at design and part speed conditions. Laser anemometer data acquired in the endwall region are presented for operating conditions near peak efficiency and near stall at 100% design speed and at near peak efficiency at 60% design speed. The role of the passage shock / leakage vortex interaction in generating endwall blockage is discussed. As a result of the shock / vortex interaction at design speed, the radial influence of the tip clearance flow extends to 20 times the physical tip clearance height. At part speed, in the absence of the shock, the radial extent is only 5 times the tip clearance height. Both measurements and analysis indicate that under part-speed operating conditions a second vortex, which does not originate from the tip leakage flow, forms in the endwall region within the blade passage and exits the passage near midpitch. Mixing of the leakage vortex with the primary flow downstream of the rotor at both design and part speed conditions is also discussed.

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