To master today’s demand for efficiency and compactness of centrifugal compressor components for small gas turbine engines the main attention must not only be given to the aerodynamic design of the impeller and diffuser components, but also to the installation situation of the surrounding parts. A vital aspect is the tip clearance control between impeller and shroud casing over the total operating range. Using the radial compressor for a small gas turbine engine, developed at BMW Rolls-Royce, the importance of tip clearance control is demonstrated. The possibilities for influencing and optimizing passive tip clearance control by design features are described; transient expansion processes must be considered when using a thermal tip clearance control. The results of the design calculations are compared with the results on the test stand and the engine itself. An effort is made to find a qualitative influence of tip clearance to the engine power output at operating conditions. This qualitative description is substantiated by test results with different tip clearances at the compressor teststand.

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