A computational fluid dynamic (CFD) investigation is presented that provides predictions of the aerodynamic impact of uniform and nonuniform coatings applied to the leading edge of a compressor airfoil in a cascade. Using a NACA 65(12)10 airfoil, coating profiles of varying leading edge nonuniformity were added. A nonuniform coating is obtained when a liquid coating is applied to a surface with high curvature, such as an airfoil leading edge. The CFD code used, RVCQ3D, is a Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes solver, with a k-omega turbulence model. The code predicted that these changes in leading edge shape can lead to alternating pressure gradients in the first few percent of chord that create small separation bubbles and possibly early transition to turbulence. The change in total pressure loss and trailing edge deviation are presented as a function of a coating nonuniformity parameter. Results are presented over a range of negative and positive incidences and inlet Mach numbers from 0.6 to 0.8. A map is provided that shows the allowable degree of coating nonuniformity as a function of incidence and inlet Mach number.

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