A detailed investigation of three-dimensional flow was carried out in a low speed rear axial compressor stage with the change of the stator blade row setting. The stator blade stagger change was in the range of (−14) – (23) degree. Measurements were performed by means of both stationary and rotating pressure probes at seven working points. The origin of large regions of separated flow in blade rows at positive incidence angles was analysed with the use of the spanwise diffusion factor distribution. These areas in the rotor and stator rows originated as the diffusion factor exceeded the critial value D = 0.6 within (1/4 – 1/3) of the blade height near one end-wall. The rotating stall in compressor stage arised when large regions of separated flow occured simultaneously in both rotor and stator blade rows.

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