The flow in the rotor blades of a five-stage low-pressure turbine was investigated experimentally using hot-film probes. Time averaging, Fourier transforms, and ensemble averaging are applied for data reduction. The techniques prove to be a very helpful instrument for the assessment of the flow characteristics in the relative frame. A strong interaction is identified between two successive rows of rotor blades. A physical model, developed from velocity and turbulence results, gives a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. The main parameter is the nonuniformity of the flow entering the downstream blade row. Separation occurs when the wake of the upstream rotor blades enters the blade passage near the leading edge, preferably on the pressure side. The interaction is quasi-steady in the relative frame and rotates with the rotor speed. It was observed only in one of three investigated blade rows. Further studies are necessary to identify the mechanism correlating the nonuniformity to the separation.

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