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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

Effect of Buoyancy-Induced Rotating Flow on Temperatures of Compressor Disks

[+] Author and Article Information
Hui Tang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Bath,
Bath BA2 7AY, UK
e-mail: h.tang2@bath.ac.uk

J. Michael Owen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Bath,
Bath BA2 7AY, UK
e-mail: ensjmo@bath.ac.uk

Contributed by the Structures and Dynamics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received August 25, 2016; final manuscript received October 18, 2016; published online February 7, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 139(6), 062506 (Feb 07, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-16-1422; doi: 10.1115/1.4035400 History: Received August 25, 2016; Revised October 18, 2016

Calculation of the clearances between the blades and casing of the high-pressure-compressor rotors in aeroengines involves calculating the radial growth of the corotating compressor disks. This requires the calculation of the thermal growth of the disks, which in turn requires knowledge of their temperatures and of the Nusselt numbers and the flow structure in the cavity between the disks. The authors have recently published a theoretical model of the buoyancy-induced flow in rotating cavities, and approximate solutions were obtained for laminar Ekman-layer flow on the disks; the equation for the Nusselt numbers, which includes two empirical constants, depends strongly on the Grashof number and on the radial distribution of disk temperature. In this paper, Nusselt numbers and disk temperatures predicted by the buoyancy model are compared with values obtained from published experimental data. For most of the 19 test cases, with Grashof numbers up to nearly 1012, mainly good agreement was achieved between the theoretical and experimental distributions of Nusselt numbers and disk temperatures. This suggests that, owing to Coriolis effects, the laminar model of buoyancy-induced rotating flow could be valid even at the high Grashof numbers found in the compressor rotors of aeroengines. As predicted by the model, for a constant Grashof number increasing the rotational Reynolds number can cause a decrease in the Nusselt number. This is the first time a theoretical model (rather than computational fluid dynamics (CFD)) has been used to predict the temperatures of a compressor disk, and the model takes only seconds to predict disk temperatures that would take days or even weeks to predict using CFD. More experimental data is required if the model is to be used by the designers of compressor rotors, and suggestions for future research are given in the paper.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Simplified diagram of high-pressure compressor rotor

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Fig. 2

Simplified diagram of axial throughflow in an isothermal rotating cavity

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Fig. 3

Multicavity experimental rig used by Atkins and Kanjirakkad [4] (dimensions in mm)

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Fig. 4

Distributions of temperatures (left) and Nusselt numbers (right) for Ro≈1 from Tang et al. [3]. (Symbols denote measured temperatures of Ref. [4]; curves show computations; shading shows 95% confidence intervals ofNu.)

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Fig. 5

Flow structure assumed for theoretical model [2]

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Fig. 6

Comparison between theoretical and experimental average Nusselt numbers

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Fig. 10

Distributions of temperatures (left) and Nusselt numbers (right) for Ro≈0.3. (Symbols denote measured temperatures; broken and solid lines represent experimental and theoretical results, respectively; shading shows 95% confidence intervals on experimental Nusselt numbers.)

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Fig. 9

Distributions of temperatures (left) and Nusselt numbers (right) for Ro≈0.6. (Symbols denote measured temperatures; broken and solid lines represent experimental and theoretical results, respectively; shading shows 95% confidence intervals on experimental Nusselt numbers.)

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Fig. 8

Distributions of temperatures (left) and Nusselt numbers (right) for Ro≈1. (Symbols denote measured temperatures; broken and solid lines represent experimental and theoretical results, respectively; shading shows 95% confidence intervals on experimental Nusselt numbers.)

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Fig. 7

Distributions of temperatures (left) and Nusselt numbers (right) for Ro≈5. (Symbols denote measured temperatures; broken and solid lines represent experimental and theoretical results, respectively; shading shows 95% confidence intervals on experimental Nusselt numbers.)

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Fig. 11

Simplified diagram of instrumented disk of Atkins and Kanjirakkad [4] (Dimensions in mm)

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