The subject of this thesis is concerned with the amount of cooling air assigned to seal high pressure turbine rim cavities which is critical for performance as well as component life. Insufficient air leads to excessive hot annulus gas ingestion and its penetration deep into the cavity compromising disc life. Excessive purge air, adversely affects performance. Experiments on a rotating turbine stage rig which included a rotor-stator forward disc cavity were performed at Arizona State University. The turbine rig has 22 vanes and 28 blades, while the rim cavity is composed of a single-tooth rim lab seal and a rim platform overlap seal. Time-averaged static pressures were measured in the gas path and the cavity, while mainstream gas ingestion into the cavity was determined by measuring the concentration distribution of tracer gas (carbon dioxide). Additionally, particle image velocimetry (PIV) was used to measure fluid velocity inside the rim cavity between the lab seal and the overlap. The data from the experiments were compared to an 360-degree unsteady RANS (URANS) CFD simulations. Although not able to match the time-averaged test data satisfactorily, the CFD simulations brought to light the unsteadiness present in the flow during the experiment which the slower response data did not fully capture. To interrogate the validity of URANS simulations in capturing complex rotating flow physics, the scope of this work also included to validating the CFD tool by comparing its predictions against experimental LDV data in a closed rotor-stator cavity. The enclosed cavity has a stationary shroud, a rotating hub, and mass flow does not enter or exit the system. A full 360 degree numerical simulation was performed comparing Fluent LES, with URANS turbulence models. Results from these investigations point to URANS state of art under-predicting closed cavity tangential velocity by 32% to 43%, and open rim cavity effectiveness by 50% compared to test data. The goal of this thesis is to assess the validity of URANS turbulence models in more complex rotating flows, compare accuracy with LES simulations, suggest CFD settings to better simulate turbine stage mainstream/disc cavity interaction with ingestion, and recommend experimentation techniques.
- Detailed validation assessment of turbine stage disc cavity rotating flows