Results of numerical simulations conducted for a high pressure compressor rotor with two different levels of tip clearance are presented. A three-dimensional, steady, Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes code was utilized to perform the computations. The simulations were executed over a range of flow coefficients by specifying different axisymmetric radial profiles in static pressure downstream of the rotor. In this manner, the effect of the downstream stator row was approximated using a simple, circumferentially averaged, radial pressure profile as the boundary condition behind the rotor. The back pressure profiles utilized were those deduced from inviscid flow computations for two different stator designs: (1) a conventional radial stator, and (2) a three-dimensional “bowed” stator. Results of the rotor simulations with nominal tip clearance show that the boundary condition induced by the bowed stator causes a 2% decrease in rotor pressure rise capability, and a 9% increase in rotor loss as compared with the conventional stator. In addition, as the tip clearance is increased to twice the nominal value, the rotor loss grows at a rate 25% higher for the rotor subjected to the bowed stator pressure profile. Accompanying this is a dramatic reduction in rotor speedline slope and pressure rise capability. Analysis of the simulations shows these effects to be linked to the response of the rotor tip clearance vortex to the exit pressure profile set by the downstream stator. These results indicate the need to accurately model the effects of the radial variation in static pressure imposed by the downstream airfoil rows.

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