Here, we report on the application of nonaxisymmetric endwall contouring to mitigate the endwall losses of one conventional and two high-lift low-pressure turbine airfoil designs. The design methodology presented combines a gradient-based optimization algorithm with a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) flow solver to systematically vary a free-form parameterization of the endwall. The ability of the CFD solver employed in this work to predict endwall loss modifications resulting from nonaxisymmetric contouring is demonstrated with previously published data. Based on the validated trend accuracy of the solver for predicting the effects of endwall contouring, the magnitude of predicted viscous losses forms the objective function for the endwall design methodology. This system has subsequently been employed to optimize contours for the conventional-lift Pack B and high-lift Pack D-F and Pack D-A low-pressure turbine airfoil designs. Comparisons between the predicted and measured loss benefits associated with the contouring for Pack D-F design are shown to be in reasonable agreement. Additionally, the predictions and data demonstrate that the Pack D-F endwall contour is effective at reducing losses primarily associated with the passage vortex. However, some deficiencies in predictive capabilities demonstrated here highlight the need for a better understanding of the physics of endwall loss-generation and improved predictive capabilities.

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