High pressure turbine blades are exposed to an extreme high temperature environment due to increasing turbine inlet temperature. High heat fluxes are likely on the blade pressure surface. Other regions, such as the trailing edge and blade tip may be difficult to cool uniformly. Unshrouded blades present an additional challenge due to the pressure driven transport of hot gas across the blade tip. The blade tip region is therefore prone to severe thermal stress, fatigue and oxidation. In order to develop effective cooling methods, designers require detailed flow and heat transfer information.

This paper reports on computational aerodynamics and heat transfer studies for an unshrouded high pressure turbine blade. The emphasis is placed on the application of appropriate 3-D models for the prediction of airfoil surface temperatures. Details of the film cooling model, boundary conditions and data exchange with heat transfer models are described. The analysis approach has been refined for design use to provide timely and accurate results. Film cooling designs are to be tailored for the best coverage of the blade tip region. Designs include near-tip pressure side films and blade tip cooling holes. Hole placement and angle are investigated to achieve the best coolant coverage on the blade tip. Analytical results are compared to a thermal paint test on engine hardware. In addition to film cooling strategies, other aerodynamic/heat transfer design approaches are discussed to address the cooling requirements for an unshrouded blade.

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