An experimental investigation has been performed to study the film cooling performance of a smooth expansion exit at the leading edge of a gas turbine vane. A two-dimensional cascade has been employed to measure the cooling performance of the proposed expansion using the transient Thermochromatic Liquid Crystal technique. One row of cylindrical holes, located on the stagnation line, is investigated with two expansion levels, 2d and 4d, in addition to the standard hole. The air is injected at 90° and 60° inclination angle relative to the vane surface at four blowing ratios ranging from 1 to 2 at a 0.9 density ratio. The Mach number and the Reynolds number based on the cascade exit velocity and the axial chord are 0.23 and 1.4E5, respectively. The detailed local heat transfer coefficient over both the pressure side and the suction side are presented in addition to the lateral-averaged normalized heat transfer coefficient. The proposed expansion provides a lower heat transfer coefficient compared with the standard cylindrical hole over the investigated blowing ratios. Combining the heat transfer coefficient with the corresponding cooling effectiveness, previously presented, the smooth expansion shows a significant reduction in the heat load with more uniform distribution of the coolant over the leading edge region. The strong confrontation between the coolant jet and the mainstream, in case of 90° injection, yields a strong dispersion of the coolant with higher heat transfer coefficient and high thermal load over the vane surface.

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