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Title: Aero-thermal performance and enhanced internal cooling of unshrouded turbine blade tips
Author: Virdi, Amandeep Singh
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 0335
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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The tips of unshrouded, high-pressure turbine blades are prone to significantly high heat loads. The gap between the tip and over-tip casing is the root cause of undesirable over-tip leakage flow that is directly responsible for high thermal material degradation and is a major source of aerodynamic loss within a turbine. Both must be minimised for the safe working and improved performance of future gas-turbines. A joint experimental and numerical study is presented to understand and characterise the heat transfer and aerodynamics of unshrouded blade tips. The investigation is undertaken with the use of a squealer or cavity tip design, known for offering the best overall compromise between the tip aerodynamics, heat transfer and mechanical stress. Since there is a lack of understanding of these tips at engine-realistic conditions, the present study comprises of a detailed analysis using a high-speed linear cascade and computational simulations. The aero-thermal performance is studied to provide a better insight into the behaviour of squealer tips, the effects of casing movement and tip cooling. The linear cascade environment has proved beneficial for its offering of spatially-resolved data maps and its ability to validate computational results. Due to the unknown tip gap height within an entire engine cycle, the effects of gap height are assessed. The squealer's aero-thermal performance has been shown to be linked with the gap height, and qualitative different trends in heat transfer are established between low-speed and high-speed tip flow regimes. To the author's knowledge, the present work is the first of its kind, providing comprehensive aero-thermal experimental research and a dataset for a squealer tip at engine-representative transonic conditions. It is also unique in terms of conducting direct and systematic validations of a major industrial computational fluid dynamics method for aero-thermal performance prediction of squealer tips at enginerepresentative transonic conditions. Finally, after recognising the highest heat loads are found on the squealer rims, a novel shaped squealer tip has been investigated to help improve the thermal performance of the squealer with a goal to improve its durability. It has been discovered that a seven percent reduction in tip temperature can be achieved through incorporating a shaped squealer and maximising the internal cooling performance.
Supervisor: He, Li Sponsor: Rolls-Royce ; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Engineering ; Aerothermal Engineering ; Fluid Dynamics ; Aerodynamics ; aero-thermal ; tip leakage flow ; compressible ; Experimental ; cooling ; Heat transfer ; High-speed ; Gas turbines ; blade tip ; Computational Fluid Dynamics ; CFD ; turbine blade ; engine realistic