Aero compressor technology has seen a significant advancement during the last two decades. Research on Rotor-Stator stage has focused on improvements in the design as well as off-design performance. Work has also been carried out to improve the clearance losses, stage loading as well as the stability of the operation. In this connection, the work on end-bend rotor-stator and variable geometry stators is specially significant. These efforts have however, yielded marginal improvements as far as the capability of the stage to produce pressure rise and its through-flow capacity are concerned. The interest in contra-rotation has emerged with a view to achieve considerable high pressure rise per stage besides its effects on stability of the stage to rotating stall/surge suppression. Contra-rotation concept has already found its acceptability in the development of future fuel efficient gas turbine plants and aero engines.

This paper presents a review of the experimental and theoretical investigations on the aero-dynamic and aero-acoustic performance of the contra-rotating pressure stage. The areas of future work on contra-rotation are also outlined.

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