Systematic study of shaped-hole film cooling at the leading edge of a scaled-up turbine blade




Moore, Jacob Damian

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The leading-edge regions of turbine vanes and blades require careful attention to their cooling designs because of the high heat loads. External cooling is typically accomplished with dense "showerhead" arrangements of film cooling holes surrounding the stagnation point at the airfoil leading edge. In modern film cooling studies, shaped holes are prevalent in downstream areas of turbine airfoils; however, the literature contains few studies of shaped holes in the showerhead. This leads to a lack of physics-based insight that would lead to the design of high-performing showerhead arrays.

This study examined the performance and physical behavior of several showerhead arrangements at the leading edge of a scaled-up turbine blade. A low-speed linear cascade test section was used to simulate the blade environment, and experiments were conducted at scaled engine-realistic conditions.

First, the cooling performances of baseline cylindrical and shaped hole designs were compared. The shaped hole design mimicked a standard design in the literature for flat plate studies but with some modifications expected to improve performance specifically at the leading edge. The result was a novel off-center, elliptically-expanding hole.

Adiabatic effectiveness and thermal field measurements revealed that the baseline shaped hole had 20-100% performance due to better jet attachment, stemming from its diffuser, which effectively decreased the exit momenta of the coolant jets. The expansion area ratio was increased by 40% for a subsequent design to gauge sensitivity to this parameter; but, surprisingly, the performances of the new design and of the baseline one were nearly identical. A third shaped hole design with a 45% larger breakout area but an identical expansion area resulted in slightly worse performance than either, highlighting the detrimental effect of increasing breakout area and expansion angle. These experiments informed a new proposed scaling parameter incorporating both of these areas and their counteracting effects to predict shaped hole performance in the showerhead.

The highest performing design of the group was then tested with an engine-realistic impingement coolant feed, for which performance was overall similar. Supplemental thermal fields using this configuration were performed to construct a 3D representation of the flow field in the showerhead region.


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