The paper presents measurements of the steady aerodynamic characteristics of a series of five radial vaneless diffusers with walls varying from mildly divergent to strongly convergent. The static pressure recovery was determined and the flow was traversed at the inlet and the outlet of the diffuser for a broad range of flow rates in each case. It was found that wall convergence results in a negative (stabilizing) slope in the pressure rise curve for the diffuser. Furthermore, at high flow rates convergence was found to reduce the pressure recovery far less than one would expect and at intermediate flow rates convergence actually improved the pressure recovery. The better-than-expected performance is thought to be closely related to the observed improvement in the flow uniformity at the diffuser outlet when convergent walls are used.

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