An experimental and theoretical investigation has been conducted to evaluate the effects seen in axial-flow compressors when the centerline of the rotor is displaced from the centerline of the static structure of the engine. This creates circumferentially nonuniform rotor-tip clearances, unsteady flow, and potentially increased clearances if the rotating and stationary parts come in contact. The result not only adversely affects compressor stall margin, pressure rise capability, and efficiency, but also generates an unsteady, destabilizing, aerodynamic force, called the Thomas/Alford force, which contributes significantly to rotor whirl instabilities in turbomachinery. Determining both the direction and magnitude of this force in compressors, relative to those in turbines, is especially important for the design of mechanically stable turbomachinery components. Part I of this two-part paper addresses these issues experimentally and Part II presents analyses from relevant computational models. Our results clearly show that the Thomas/Alford force can promote significant backward rotor whirl over much of the operating range of modern compressors, although some regions of zero and forward whirl were found near the design point. This is the first time that definitive measurements, coupled with compelling analyses, have been reported in the literature to resolve the long-standing disparity in findings concerning the direction and magnitude of whirl-inducing forces important in the design of modern axial-flow compressors.
Unsteady Flow and Whirl-Inducing Forces in Axial-Flow Compressors: Part I—Experiment
Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute and presented at the 45th International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition, Munich, Germany, May 8–11, 2000. Manuscript received by the International Gas Turbine Institute February 2000. Paper No. 2000-GT-565. Review Chair: D. Ballal.
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Storace , A. F., Wisler , D. C., Shin , H., Beacher, B. F., Ehrich , F. F., Spakovszky , Z. S., Martinez-Sanchez, M., and Song, S. J. (February 1, 2000). "Unsteady Flow and Whirl-Inducing Forces in Axial-Flow Compressors: Part I—Experiment ." ASME. J. Turbomach. July 2001; 123(3): 433–445. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1378299
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