Effect of purge on the secondary flow-field of a gas turbine blade-row

B. D.J. Schreiner, M. Wilson, Y. S. Li, C. M. Sangan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)


Turbine disc cooling is required to protect vulnerable components from exposure to the high temperatures found in the mainstream gas path. Purge air, bled from the latter stages of the compressor, is introduced to the turbine wheelspace at low radius before exiting through the rim-seal at the periphery of the discs. The unsteady, complex flowfield that arises from the interaction between the purge and mainstream gases modifies the structure of secondary flows within the blade passage. A computational study was conducted using an unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navir–Stokes (RANS) solver, modeling an engine-representative turbine stage. Preliminary results were validated using experimental data from a test rig. The baseline secondary flowfield was described, in the absence of purge flow, demonstrating the classical rollup of the horseshoe vortex and subsequent convection of the two legs downstream. The unsteady behavior of the model was investigated and addressed, resulting in recommendations for modeling interaction phenomena in turbines. A superposed purge flow, resulting in egress through the upstream rim-seal, was shown to modify the secondary flowfield in the turbine annulus. The most notable effect of egress was the formation of a large plume forming near the pressure minima associated with the blade suction surface. The egress was turned by the mainstream flow, creating a vortical structure consistent in rotational direction to the pressure-side leg of the horseshoe vortex; the pressure-side leg was subsequently strengthened and showed an increased radial migration relative to the unpurged case. The egress plume was also shown to overwhelm the suction-side leg of the horseshoe vortex, reducing its strength.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101006
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number10
Early online date14 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2020


  • Compressor and turbine aerodynamic design
  • Fan
  • Fluid dynamics and heat transfer phenomena in compressor and turbine components of gas turbine engines
  • Impact on cavity leaking flows on performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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