Experimental study of pressure and main gas ingestion distributions in a model rotor-stator disk cavity
Ingestion of high temperature mainstream gas into the rotor-stator cavities of a gas turbine is one of the major problems faced by the turbine designers. The ingested gas heats up rotor disks and induces higher thermal stresses on them, giving rise to durability concern. Ingestion is usually reduced by installing seals on the rotor and stator rims and by purging the disk cavity by secondary air bled from the compressor discharge. The geometry of the rim seals and the secondary air flow rate, together, influence the amount of gas that gets ingested into the cavities. Since the amount of secondary air bled off has a negative effect on the gas turbine thermal efficiency, one goal is to use the least possible amount of secondary air. This requires a good understanding of the flow and ingestion fields within a disk cavity. In the present study, the mainstream gas ingestion phenomenon has been experimentally studied in a model single-stage axial flow gas turbine. The turbine stage featured vanes and blades, and rim seals on both the rotor and stator. Additionally, the disk cavity contained a labyrinth seal radially inboard which effectively divided the cavity into a rim cavity and an inner cavity. Time-average static pressure measurements were obtained at various radial positions within the disk cavity, and in the mainstream gas path at three axial locations at the outer shroud spread circumferentially over two vane pitches. The time-average static pressure in the main gas path exhibited a periodic asymmetry following the vane pitch whose amplitude diminished with increasing distance from the vane trailing edge. The static pressure distribution increased with the secondary air flow rate within the inner cavity but was found to be almost independent of it in the rim cavity. Tracer gas (CO2) concentration measurements were conducted to determine the sealing effectiveness of the rim seals against main gas ingestion. For the rim cavity, the sealing effectiveness increased with the secondary air flow rate. Within the inner cavity however, this trend reversed -this may have been due to the presence of rotating low-pressure flow structures inboard of the labyrinth seal.