An extensive experimental study into the nature of the separated flows on the blade suction surface of modern transonic fans is described in this paper. The study was a subtask of a larger experimental effort focused on blade flutter excited by flow separation in the blade tip region. The tip sections of airfoils on transonic fan blades are designed for precompression and consequently they differ from sections on the rest of the blade. The blade tip section was modeled by a low aspect ratio blade and therefore most of the blade tested was exposed to the secondary flow effects. The aim of this work was to supply reliable data on flow separation on transonic fan blades for validation of future analytical studies. The experimental study focused on two visualization techniques: surface flow visualization using dye oils and schlieren (and shadowgraph) flow visualization. The following key observations were made during the study. For subsonic inlet flow, the flow on the suction surface of the blade was separated over a large portion of the blade, and the separated area increased with increasing inlet Mach number. For the supersonic inlet flow condition, the flow was attached from the leading edge up to the point where a bow shock from the upper neighboring blade imposed on the blade surface. Downstream, there was a separated flow region in which air flowed in the direction opposite the inlet flow. Finally, past the separated flow region, the flow reattached to the blade surface. For subsonic inlet flow, the low cascade solidity resulted in an increased area of separated flow. For supersonic flow conditions, the low solidity resulted in an improvement in flow over the suction surface.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 19, 2008
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