A major concern in the operation of present-day gas turbine engines is the ingestion of hot mainstream gas into rotor-stator disk cavities of the high-pressure turbine stages. Although the engines require high gas temperature at turbine entry for good performance efficiency, the ingested gas shortens the lives of the cavity internals, particularly that of the rotor disks. Steps such as installing seals at the disk rims and injecting purge (secondary) air bled from the compressor discharge into the cavities are implemented to reduce the gas ingestion. Although there are advantages to the above-mentioned steps, the performance of a gas turbine engine is diminished by the purge air bleed-off. This then requires that the cavity sealing function be achieved with as low a purge air supply rate as possible. This, in turn, renders imperative an in-depth understanding of the pressure and velocity fields in the main gas path and within the disk cavities. In this work, experiments were carried out in a model 1.5-stage (stator-rotor-stator) axial air turbine to study the ingestion of main air into the aft, rotor-stator, disk cavity. The cavity featured rotor and stator rim seals with radial clearance and axial overlap and an inner labyrinth seal. First, time-average static pressure distribution was measured in the main gas path upstream and downstream of the rotor as well as in the cavity to ensure that a nominally steady run condition had been achieved. Main gas ingestion was determined by measuring the concentration distribution of tracer gas (CO2) in the cavity. To map the cavity fluid velocity field, particle image velocimetry was employed. Results are reported for two main air flow rates, two rotor speeds, and four purge air flow rates.
- Experimental study of the flow field in a model 1.5-stage gas turbine rotor-stator disk cavity