The present paper reports a numerical study on the effects of aerodynamic sweep applied to a low-aspect-ratio, high-through-flow, state-of-the-art, axial transonic compressor design. Numerical analyses based on the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations were used to obtain the performance of a conventional unswept rotor, a forward swept rotor, and an aft-swept rotor, at both design and off-design operating conditions. The numerical analyses predicted that the forward-swept rotor has a higher peak efficiency and a substantially larger stall margin than the baseline unswept rotor, and that the aft-swept rotor has a similar peak efficiency as the unswept rotor with a significantly smaller stall margin. The rig test confirmed the numerical assessment of the effects of aerodynamic sweep on the low-aspect-ratio, high-through-flow, transonic compressor rotor. Detailed analyses of the measured and calculated flow fields indicate that two mechanisms are primarily responsible for the differences in aerodynamic performance among these rotors. The first mechanism is a change in the radial shape of the passage shock near the casing by the endwall effect, and the second is the radial migration of low-momentum fluid to the blade tip region. Aerodynamic sweep can be used to control the shock structure near the endwall and the migration of secondary flows and, consequently, flow structures near the tip area for improved performance.

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