Currently, the aerodynamics and heat transfer over a turbine blade tip tend to be analyzed separately with the assumption that the wall thermal boundary conditions do not affect the Over-Tip-Leakage (OTL) flow field. There are some existing correlations for correcting the wall temperature effect on heat transfer. But they were mainly developed to account for the temperature dependence on fluid properties, and are inherently limited by the empirical nature. The questions arise with regard to: is the OTL aerodynamics significantly affected by the wall thermal condition? And if it is, how can we count this effect consistently in turbine blade tip design and analysis using modern CFD methods?
In the present study, the problem has been examined for typical HP turbine blade tip configurations. An extensively developed RANS code (HYDRA) is employed and validated against the experimental data from a high speed linear cascade testing rig. The numerical analysis reveals that the wall-gas temperature ratio could greatly affect the transonic OTL flow field and there is a strong two-way coupling between aerodynamics and heat transfer. The feedbacks of the thermal boundary condition to aerodynamics behave differently at different flow regimes over the tip, clearly indicating a highly localized dependence of the convective heat transfer coefficient (HTC) upon wall temperatures. This implies that to use HTC for blade metal temperature predictions without resorting a fully conjugate solution, the temperature dependence needs to be corrected locally. A nonlinear correction approach has been adopted in the present work, and the results demonstrate its effectiveness for the transonic turbine tip configurations studied.