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An experimental and numerical convective heat transfer analysis over a transonic gas turbine rotor blade.

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An experimental and numerical investigation of the flow and convective heat transfer distribution around a high turning angle gas turbine rotor blade has been carried out at the University of Kwa-Zulu, Durban campus. This study in gas turbine blade aerothermodynamics was done to meet the research and development requirements of the CSIR and ARMSCOR. The experimental results were generated using an existing continuously running supersonic cascade facility which offers realistic engine conditions at low operating costs. These results were then used to develop and validate a 2-D model created using the commercially available Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software package, FLUENT. An initial phase of the study entailed a restoration of what was an unoperational experimental facility to a state capable of producing test simulation conditions. In the analysis, a 4-blade cascade system with provisions for an interchangeable, test blade was subjected to the steady state conditions set up by the facility. Firstly, the flow was characterised by evaluating the static pressures around the midspan of a pressure measurement test blade. This was done using two pressure transducers, a scanivalve, an upgraded data acquisition system and LABview software. The method for measuring the heat transfer distributions made use of a transient measuring technique, whereby a pre-chilled Macor test blade, instrumented with thin film heat flux gauges was rapidly introduced into the hot cascade flow conditions by displacing an aluminum dummy blade while still maintaining the flow conditions. Measurement of the heat flux and generation of the isothermal heat transfer co-efficient distributions entailed re-instrumentation of the test blade section with gauges of increased temperature sensitivity along with modifications of the associated electrical circuitry to improve on the quality of experimental data. Both the experimental flow and heat transfer data were used to validate the CFD model developed in FLUENT. An investigation into different meshing strategies and turbulence models placed emphasis on the choice of model upon correlation. The outcome of which showed the k -co model's superiority in predicting the flow at transonic conditions. A feasibility study regarding a new means of implementing a film cooled turbine test blade at the supersonic cascade facility was also successfully investigated. The study comprised of experimental facility modifications as well as cascade and blade redesigns, all of which were to account for the requirements of film cooling. The implementation of this project, however, demanded the resources of both time and money of which neither commodity was available.


Thesis (M.Sc.Eng.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2006.


Theses--Mechanical engineering., Turbines--Blades., Aerothermodynamics., Gas-turbines.