A combined experimental and computational study has been performed to investigate the detailed distribution of convective heat transfer coefficients on the first stage blade tip surface for a geometry typical of large power generation turbines (>100MW). This paper is concerned with the design and execution of the experimental portion of the study, which represents the first reported investigation to obtain nearly full surface information on heat transfer coefficients within an environment which develops an appropriate pressure distribution about an airfoil blade tip and shroud model. A stationary blade cascade experiment has been run consisting of three airfoils, the center airfoil having a variable tip gap clearance. The airfoil models the aerodynamic tip section of a high pressure turbine blade with inlet Mach number of 0.30, exit Mach number of 0.75, pressure ratio of 1.45, exit Reynolds number based on axial chord of 2.57•106, and total turning of about 110 degrees. A hue detection based liquid crystal method is used to obtain the detailed heal transfer coefficient distribution on the blade tip surface for flat, smooth tip surfaces with both sharp and rounded edges. The cascade inlet turbulence intensity level took on values of either 5% or 9%. The cascade also models the casing recess in the shroud surface ahead of the blade. Experimental results are shown for the pressure distribution measurements on the airfoil near the tip gap, on the blade tip surface, and on the opposite shroud surface. Tip surface heat transfer coefficient distributions are shown for sharp-edge and rounded-edge tip geometries at each of the inlet turbulence intensity levels.

This content is only available via PDF.