Experimental Investigation of Transient Flow Phenomena in Rotating Compressor Cavities

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

3 Citations (SciVal)


The clearance of compressor blade tips during aero-engine accelerations is an important design issue for next-generation engine architectures. The transient clearance depends on the radial expansion of the compressor discs, which is directly coupled to conjugate heat transfer in co-rotating discs governed by unsteady and unstable buoyancy-induced flow. This paper discusses an experimental and modelling study using the Bath Compressor Cavity Rig, which simulates a generic axial compressor at fluid-dynamically scaled conditions. The rig was specifically designed to generate heat transfer of practical interest to the engine designer and validate computational codes. This work presents the first study of the fundamental fluid dynamic and heat transfer phenomena under transient conditions. The rotating flow structure was seen to be characterised by coherent pairs of cyclonic/anti-cyclonic vortex pairs; the strength, rotational frequency, stability and number of these unsteady structures changed with changing rotational Reynolds and Grashof numbers during the transients. These structures, measured by unsteady pressure transducers in the rotating frame of reference, were only present when the flow in the rotating cavity was dominated by buoyancy. Experimental correlations of both Nusselt number and radial mass flow rate in the rotating core were correlated against Grashof number. Remarkably, the experiments revealed a consistent correlation for both steady-state and transient conditions over a wide range of Gr. The results have a practical application to thermo-mechanical models for engine design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeat Transfer - General Interest/Additive Manufacturing Impacts on Heat Transfer; Internal Air Systems; Internal Cooling
Subtitle of host publicationInternal Air Systems
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780791887011
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2023
EventASME Turbo Expo 2023: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition - Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Duration: 26 Jun 202330 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo


ConferenceASME Turbo Expo 2023: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition


  • compressor cavities
  • heat transfer
  • transient phenomena

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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