[+] Author and Article Information
Hui Tang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, United Kingdom

Mark R Puttock-Brown

Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre, School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, Farlmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH, United Kingdom

J. Michael Owen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, United Kingdom

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038756 History: Received June 07, 2017; Revised October 21, 2017


The buoyancy-induced flow and heat transfer inside the compressor rotors of gas-turbine engines affects the stresses and radial growth of the compressor discs, and it also causes a temperature rise in the axial throughflow of cooling air through the centre of the discs. In turn, the radial growth of the discs affects the radial clearance between the rotating compressor blades and the surrounding stationary casing. The calculation of this clearance is extremely important, particularly in aeroengines where the increase in pressure ratios results in a decrease in the size of the blades. In this paper, a published theoretical model - based on buoyancy-induced laminar Ekman-layer flow on the rotating discs - is extended to include laminar free convection from the compressor shroud and forced convection between the bore of the discs and the axial throughflow. The predicted heat transfer from these three surfaces is then used to calculate the temperature rise of the throughflow. The predicted temperatures and Nusselt numbers are compared with measurements made in a multi-cavity compressor rig, and mainly good agreement is achieved for a range of Rossby, Reynolds and Grashof numbers representative of those found in aeroengine compressors. Owing to compressibility effects in the fluid core between the discs - and as previously predicted - increasing rotational speed can result in an increase in the core temperature and a consequent decrease in the Nusselt numbers from the discs and shroud.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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