Buoyancy-Induced Flow and Heat Transfer in Compressor Rotors

Hui Tang, Mark R. Puttock-Brown, John M. Owen

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15 Citations (SciVal)


The buoyancy-induced flow and heat transfer inside the compressor rotors of gas-turbine engines affects the stresses and radial growth of the compressor disks, and it also causes a temperature rise in the axial throughflow of cooling air through the center of the disks. In turn, the radial growth of the disks affects the radial clearance between the rotating compressor blades and the surrounding stationary casing. The calculation of this clearance is extremely important, particularly in aeroengines where the increase in pressure ratios results in a decrease in the size of the blades. In this paper, a published theoretical model - based on buoyancy-induced laminar Ekman-layer flow on the rotating disks - is extended to include laminar free convection from the compressor shroud and forced convection between the bore of the disks and the axial throughflow. The predicted heat transfer from these three surfaces is then used to calculate the temperature rise of the throughflow. The predicted temperatures and Nusselt numbers are compared with measurements made in a multicavity compressor rig, and mainly good agreement is achieved for a range of Rossby, Reynolds, and Grashof numbers representative of those found in aeroengine compressors. Owing to compressibility effects in the fluid core between the disks - and as previously predicted - increasing rotational speed can result in an increase in the core temperature and a consequent decrease in the Nusselt numbers from the disks and shroud.

Original languageEnglish
Article number071902
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power: Transactions of the ASME
Issue number7
Early online date15 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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