Experimental and Computational Investigations of Separation and Transition on a Highly Loaded Low-Pressure Turbine Airfoil: Part 1 — Low Freestream Turbulence Intensity

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition


Boundary layer separation, transition and reattachment have been studied on a new, very high lift, low-pressure turbine airfoil. Experiments were done under low freestream turbulence conditions on a linear cascade in a low speed wind tunnel. Pressure surveys on the airfoil surface and downstream total pressure loss surveys were documented. Velocity profiles were acquired in the suction side boundary layer at several streamwise locations using hot-wire anemometry. Cases were considered at Reynolds numbers (based on the suction surface length and the nominal exit velocity from the cascade) ranging from 25,000 to 330,000. In all cases the boundary layer separated, but at high Reynolds number the separation bubble remained very thin and quickly reattached after transition to turbulence. In the low Reynolds number cases, the boundary layer separated and did not reattach, even when transition occurred. Three different CFD URANS (unsteady Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes) models were utilized in this study (using Fluent CFD Code), the k-ω shear stress transport model, the ν2 -fk-ε model, and the 4 equation Transition model of Menter. At Re = 25,000, the Transition model seems to perform the best. At Re = 100,000 the Transition model seems to perform the best also, although it under-predicts the pressure coefficient downstream of the suction peak. At Re = 300,000 all models perform very similar with each other. The Transition model showed a small bump in the pressure coefficient downstream from the suction peak indicating the presence of a small bubble at that location.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Paper No. IMECE2008-68879 presented at ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Boston, Massachusetts, October 31–November 6, 2008.






Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B, and C