The present study explores the effects of gap height and tip geometry on heat transfer distribution over the tip surface of a HPT first stage rotor blade. The pressure ratio (inlet total pressure to exit static pressure for the cascade) used was 1.2, and the experiments were run in a blow-down test rig with a four-blade linear cascade. A transient liquid crystal technique was used to obtain the tip heat transfer distributions. Pressure measurements were made on the blade surface and on the shroud for different tip geometries and tip gaps to characterize the leakage flow and understand the heat transfer distributions. Two different tip gap-to-blade span ratio of 1% and 2.6% are investigated for a plane tip and a deep squealer with depth-to-blade span ratio of 0.0416. For a shallow squealer with depth-to-blade span ratio of 0.0104, only 1% gap-to-span ratio is considered. The presence of the squealer alters the tip gap flow field significantly and produces lower overall heat transfer coefficients. The effects of different partial squealer arrangements are also investigated for the shallow squealer depth. These simulate partial burning off of the squealer in real turbine blades. Results show that in some cases, partial burning of squealers along the pressure surface may be beneficial in terms of overall reduction in heat transfer coefficients over the tip surface compared to the plain tip.

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