An analytical and experimental investigation of the characteristics of a three-dimensional turbulent boundary layer in a rotating helical channel is reported in this paper. Expressions are developed for the velocity profiles in the inner layer, where the viscous effects dominate, and the outer layer, where the viscous effects are small. The prediction of boundary layer growth is based on the momentum integral technique. The analysis is valid for incompressible flow through a rotor blade row with small camber. The velocity profiles, wall shear stress and limiting streamline angles are measured inside the passages of a flat plate inducer at various radial and chordwise locations using rotating probes. The measurements are in general agreement with the predictions. Flow near the blade tip is found to be highly complex due to interaction of blade boundary layers and the annulus wall, resulting in appreciable radial inward flow as well as a defect in mainstream velocity near the midpassage. A wall shear stress correlation, which includes the effect of both Reynolds number and rotation parameter, is derived from the measured data.

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