Similar to jet engine development, modern design methods are used today to improve the performance of industrial compressors. In order to verify the loading limits, a cascade profile representative for the first rotor hub section of an industrial compressor has been designed by optimizing the suction surface velocity distribution using a direct boundary layer calculation method. The blade shape was computed with an inverse full potential code and the resulting cascade was tested in a cascade wind tunnel. The experimental results confirmed the design intent and resulted in a low loss coefficient of 1.8 percent at design condition and an incidence range of nearly 12 deg (4 percent loss level) at an inlet Mach number of 0.62.

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