Effect of Radiation on Heat Transfer inside Aeroengine Compressor Rotors

Hui Tang, Mike Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)
48 Downloads (Pure)


The blade clearance in aero-engine compressors is mainly controlled by the radial growth of the compressor discs, to which the blades are attached. This growth depends on the radial distribution of the disc temperature, which in turn is determined by the heat transfer inside the internal rotating cavity between adjacent discs. The buoyancy-induced convection inside the cavity is significantly weaker than that associated with the forced convection in the external mainstream flow, and consequently radiation between the cavity surfaces cannot be ignored in the calculation of the disc temperatures. In this paper, both the Monte Carlo Ray-Trace (MCRT) method and the view factor (VF) method are used to calculate the radiative flux when the temperatures of the discs, shroud, and inner shaft of the compressor vary radially and axially. The Monte Carlo Ray-Trace method is computationally expensive, but it is able to incorporate the effect of complex geometries on radiation. The view factor method is quick to compute and, although the derivation becomes complicated when geometrical details are considered, it can be used as a first check of the effect of radiation in compressor cavities. Given distributions of surface temperatures, the blackbody and gray body heat fluxes were calculated for the discs, shroud, and inner shaft in two experimental compressor rigs and in a simulated compressor stage. For the experimental rigs, although the effect of radiation was relatively small for the case of large Grashof numbers, the relative effect of radiation increases as Gr (and consequently the convective heat transfer) decreases. For the simulated compressor, with a pressure ratio of 50:1 for state-of-the-art aircraft engines, radiation could have a significant effect on the disc temperature and consequently on the blade clearance; the effect is predicted to be more prominent for the next generation of aircraft engines with pressure ratios up to 70:1.
Original languageEnglish
Article number051005
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number5
Early online date8 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of Radiation on Heat Transfer inside Aeroengine Compressor Rotors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this