Non-axisymmetric endwall contouring has been used as means to improve the characteristics of the flow field exiting a turbine blade row reducing the secondary flows and thus also the secondary losses. The development of non-axisymmetric endwalls has predominantly been done using CFD and detailed measurements in cascades. It has been shown by several researchers that contouring can improve the performance of a gas turbine engine; however the mechanisms that create the improvement are still not fully understood. The current investigation was aimed at unsteady features, if any, and how the unsteady flow field is altered by a non-axisymmetric endwall contour. A previous steady state investigation found that the contouring improved the rotor efficiency of the current rig by 0.4%. The current investigation is an initial experimental investigation into the unsteady nature of the flow in a turbine that has endwdall contours. The unsteady nature of the rotor exit flow field was investigated using an X-film probe to determine if the contouring affected the flow field in ways that the steady measurement technique could not determine. Contour plots, variation in quantities as well as FFT’s were investigated. The unsteady data shows several differences in the flow field of the annular and contoured rotor exit. The velocity range was reduced specifically in the endwall secondary flow region, but the oscillations in the tip leakage flow region were increased. Pitch wise averaged velocity data showed a decrease in the magnitude of the FFT at the blade passing frequency, with the first and second harmonics also being affected. The velocity contours at the rotor exit reveal that the rotor outlet flow field has been made more homogenous (more aligned with the bulk flow) with the addition of the non-axisymmetric endwall contouring.

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