Detailed measurements were made of the casing wall boundary layer development across a large-scale, low-speed axial compressor rotor blade row. An important feature of the work was the use of blading which allowed the tip clearance to be varied. A conventional pressure probe was used to obtain time-averaged measurements of the outer-wall boundary layer downstream of the rotor whilst a hot-wire anenometry technique yielded the three-dimensional, blade to blade structure of the flow. The downstream boundary layer was found to thicken as the rotor loading and blade-end clearance were increased, with fluid tending to accumulate towards the pressure side of the passage. By its pronounced effects upon wall boundary layer development, tip clearance had a deleterious effect upon the performance of the compressor.

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