An experimental program was conducted in a highly loaded, single-stage, low-speed research compressor that featured variations in blade tip clearances, shroud wall roughness, and stage loading levels. The results showed that tip clearances and stage loading levels exerted a very strong influence on casing boundary layer growth. Shroud wall roughness not only showed some effect on casing boundary layer development, but also influenced stage stall margin. The results point out the need to understand the basic flow processes that occur if realistic mathematical models are to be developed so that casing boundary layer development and its influence on compressor stage performance can be accurately predicted.

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