An experimental and analytical study of flow in the tip clearance gap of a linear turbine rotor blade cascade has been performed. Measurements of wall static pressures and flow velocities are used to verify a flow model involving a vena contracta, near the tip gap entrance, followed by flow mixing to fill the gap. A frequently referenced potential flow theory for flow into a tip gap is found to be in error and the correct theory is shown to model the unloading along the pressure surface of the blade and the endwall static pressure distribution up to the vena contracta accurately. A combined potential flow and mixing model accounts for the pressure rise in the tip gap due to mixing. Turbine tip heat transfer is also discussed and a correlation of local heat transfer rates for essentially incompressible flow over unshrouded turbine rotor blades is presented.

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