The paper presents the results of a detailed investigation of the flow field in a gas turbine linear cascade. A comparison between a contoured and a planar configuration of the same cascade has been performed, and differences in the three-dimensional flow field are here analyzed and discussed. The flow evolution downstream of the trailing edge was surveyed by means of probe traversing while a three-dimensional Navier–Stokes solver was employed to obtain information on flow structures inside the vaned passages. The experimental measurements and the numerical simulation of the three-dimensional flow field have been performed for two cascades; one with planar endwalls, and the other with one planar and one profiled endwall, so as to present a reduction of the nozzle height. The investigation was carried out at an isentropic downstream Mach number of 0.6. Airfoils of both cascades were scaled from the same high-pressure gas turbine inlet guide vane. Measurements of the three-dimensional flow field have been performed on five planes downstream of the cascades by means of a miniaturized five-hole pressure probe. The presence of endwall contouring strongly influences the secondary effects; the vortex generation and their development are inhibited by the stronger acceleration taking place throughout the cascade. The results show that the secondary effects on the contoured side of the passage are confined in the endwall region, while on the flat side the secondary vortices display characteristics similar to the ones occurring downstream of the planar cascade. The spanwise outlet angle distribution presents a linear variation for most of the nozzle height, with quite low values approaching the contoured endwall. The analysis of mass-averaged losses shows a significant performance improvement in the contoured cascade. This can be ascribed not only to lower secondary losses but also to a reduction of the profile losses.

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