This article investigates the generation of unsteady forces on turbine blades due to potential-flow interaction and viscous-wake interaction from upstream blade rows. A computer program is used to calculate the unsteady forces on the rotor blades. Results for typical stator-to-rotor-pitch ratios and stator outlet-flow angles show that the first spatial harmonic of the unsteady force may decrease for higher stator-to-rotor-pitch ratios, while the higher spatial harmonics increase. This (apparently counterintuitive) trend for the first harmonic, and other blade row interaction issues, are explained by considering the mechanisms by which the viscous wakes and the potential-flow interaction affect the flow field. The interaction mechanism is shown to vary with the stator-to-rotor-pitch ratio and with the outlet flow angle of the stator. It is also shown that varying the axial gap between rotor and stator can minimize the magnitude of the unsteady part of the forces generated by the combined effects of the two interactions.

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