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Experimental study of the flow field in a model rotor-stator disk cavity using particle image velocimetry

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Modern day gas turbine designers face the problem of hot mainstream gas ingestion into rotor-stator disk cavities. To counter this ingestion, seals are installed on the rotor and stator disk rims and purge air, bled off from the compressor, is

Modern day gas turbine designers face the problem of hot mainstream gas ingestion into rotor-stator disk cavities. To counter this ingestion, seals are installed on the rotor and stator disk rims and purge air, bled off from the compressor, is injected into the cavities. It is desirable to reduce the supply of purge air as this decreases the net power output as well as efficiency of the gas turbine. Since the purge air influences the disk cavity flow field and effectively the amount of ingestion, the aim of this work was to study the cavity velocity field experimentally using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). Experiments were carried out in a model single-stage axial flow turbine set-up that featured blades as well as vanes, with purge air supplied at the hub of the rotor-stator disk cavity. Along with the rotor and stator rim seals, an inner labyrinth seal was provided which split the disk cavity into a rim cavity and an inner cavity. First, static gage pressure distribution was measured to ensure that nominally steady flow conditions had been achieved. The PIV experiments were then performed to map the velocity field on the radial-tangential plane within the rim cavity at four axial locations. Instantaneous velocity maps obtained by PIV were analyzed sector-by-sector to understand the rim cavity flow field. It was observed that the tangential velocity dominated the cavity flow at low purge air flow rate, its dominance decreasing with increase in the purge air flow rate. Radially inboard of the rim cavity, negative radial velocity near the stator surface and positive radial velocity near the rotor surface indicated the presence of a recirculation region in the cavity whose radial extent increased with increase in the purge air flow rate. Qualitative flow streamline patterns are plotted within the rim cavity for different experimental conditions by combining the PIV map information with ingestion measurements within the cavity as reported in Thiagarajan (2013).

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2013

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Improved techniques for cardiovascular flow experiments

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Aortic pathologies such as coarctation, dissection, and aneurysm represent a

particularly emergent class of cardiovascular diseases and account for significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide. Computational simulations of aortic flows are growing increasingly important as tools for gaining understanding of these

Aortic pathologies such as coarctation, dissection, and aneurysm represent a

particularly emergent class of cardiovascular diseases and account for significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide. Computational simulations of aortic flows are growing increasingly important as tools for gaining understanding of these pathologies and for planning their surgical repair. In vitro experiments are required to validate these simulations against real world data, and a pulsatile flow pump system can provide physiologic flow conditions characteristic of the aorta.

This dissertation presents improved experimental techniques for in vitro aortic blood flow and the increasingly larger parts of the human cardiovascular system. Specifically, this work develops new flow management and measurement techniques for cardiovascular flow experiments with the aim to improve clinical evaluation and treatment planning of aortic diseases.

The hypothesis of this research is that transient flow driven by a step change in volume flux in a piston-based pulsatile flow pump system behaves differently from transient flow driven by a step change in pressure gradient, the development time being substantially reduced in the former. Due to this difference in behavior, the response to a piston-driven pump can be predicted in order to establish inlet velocity and flow waveforms at a downstream phantom model.

The main objectives of this dissertation were: 1) to design, construct, and validate a piston-based flow pump system for aortic flow experiments, 2) to characterize temporal and spatial development of start-up flows driven by a piston pump that produces a step change from zero flow to a constant volume flux in realistic (finite) tube geometries for physiologic Reynolds numbers, and 3) to develop a method to predict downstream velocity and flow waveforms at the inlet of an aortic phantom model and determine the input waveform needed to achieve the intended waveform at the test section. Application of these newly improved flow management tools and measurement techniques were then demonstrated through in vitro experiments in patient-specific coarctation of aorta flow phantom models manufactured in-house and compared to computational simulations to inform and execute future experiments and simulations.

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2015