In the present study, Improved Delayed Detached Eddy Simulation (IDDES) based on k-ω-SST turbulence model is applied to study the unsteady phenomenon in a transonic compressor rotor. Particular emphasis is on the understanding of the complex underlying mechanisms for the flow unsteadiness caused by the interaction of passage shock, blade tip leakage vortex (BTLV) and the blade boundary layer. The sources of the significant unsteadiness of the flow are shown. At the lower span height, where the BTLV is far away, the shock wave ahead of the blade leading edge impinges on the suction surface boundary layer of the adjacent blade, causing the shock wave/boundary layer interaction (SWBLI). Boundary layer thickness grows, while flow separates after the interaction. Predicted by IDDES calculation, this shock-induced separation exists as a separation bubble. The flow reattaches very soon after separation. At the near tip region, the shock wave surface deforms due to the strong interaction between the shock and the BTLV. Oscillation of the shock wave surface near the vortex core infers an unsteady contend between the shock and the vortex. Iso-surfaces of the Q parameter are applied to identify the vortex and its structure. Normally, the vortex breakdown in the rotor passage will lead to stall. However, in the present transonic case, the vortex breakdown was observed even at the near peak efficiency point. While the mass flow rate decreases, the shock waves formed ahead of the rotor blade leading edge were pushed upstream, causing earlier casing wall boundary layer separation. Upstream moving behavior of the shock is considered a new stall process.

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