A numerical study based on the three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equation has been conducted to investigate the detailed flow physics inside a transonic compressor. Three-dimensional shock structure, shock-boundary layer interaction, flow separation, radial mixing, and wake development are all investigated at design and off-design conditions. Experimental data based on laser anemometer measurements are used to assess the overall quality of the numerical solution. An additional experimental study to investigate end-wall flow with a hot film was conducted, and these results are compared with the numerical results. Detailed comparison with experimental data indicates that the overall features of the three-dimensional shock structure, the shock-boundary layer interaction, and the wake development are all calculated very well in the numerical solution. The numerical results are further analyzed to examine the radial mixing phenomena in the transonic compressor. A thin sheet of particles is injected in the numerical solution upstream of the compressor. The movement of particles is traced with a three-dimensional plotting package. This numerical survey of tracer concentration reveals the fundamental mechanisms of radial transport in this transonic compressor. Strong radially outward flow is observed inside a separated flow region and this outward flow accounts for about 80 percent of the total radial transport. The radially inward flow is mainly due to the traditional secondary flow.

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