This paper presents a numerical case study of various stepped tip clearances and their effect on the performance of a single stage transonic axial flow compressor, using commercially available software ANSYS FLUENT 14.0. A steady state, implicit, three dimensional, pressure based flow solver with SST k-Ω turbulence model has been selected for the numerical study. The stepped tip clearances have been compared with the baseline model of zero tip clearance at 70% and 100 % design speed. It has been observed that the compressor peak stage efficiency and maximum stage pressure ratio decreases as the tip clearances in the rear part are increased. The stall margin also increases with increase in tip clearance compared to the baseline model. An ‘optimum’ value of stepped tip clearance has been obtained giving peak stage compressor performance. The CFD results have been validated with the earlier published experimental data on the same compressor at 70% design speed.

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