A three-dimensional Navier-Stokes calculation was used to analyze the impact of rotor tip clearance on the stall margin of a multi-stage axial compressor. This paper presents a summary of: (1) a study of the sensitivity of the results to grid refinement, (2) an assessment of the calculation’s ability to predict stall margin when the stalling row was the first rotor in a multi-stage rig environment, (3) an analysis of the impact of including the effects of the downstream stator through body force effects on the upstream rotor, and (4) the ability of the calculation to predict the impact of tip clearance on stall margin through a calculation of the rear seven airfoil rows of an eleven stage high pressure compressor rig. The result of these studies was that a practical tool is available which can predict stall margin, and the impact of tip clearance, with reasonable accuracy.

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