This paper deals with the influence of high-pressure turbine purge flows on the aerodynamic performance of turbine center frames. Measurements were carried out in a product-representative one and a half stage turbine test setup, installed in the Transonic Test Turbine Facility at Graz University of Technology. The rig allows testing at engine-relevant flow conditions, matching Mach, Reynolds, and Strouhal number at the inlet of the turbine center frame. Four individual purge mass flows differing in flow rate, pressure, and temperature were injected through the hub and tip, forward and aft cavities of the unshrouded high-pressure turbine rotor. Two turbine center frame designs (differing in area distribution and inlet-to-exit radial offset), equipped with non-turning struts, were tested and compared. For both configurations, aerodynamic measurements at the duct inlet and outlet as well as oil flow visualizations through the turbine center frame were performed.

The acquired measurement data illustrate that the interaction of the ejected purge flow with the main flow enhances the secondary flow structures through the turbine center frame duct. Depending on the purge flow rates, the radial migration of purge air onto the strut surfaces directly impacts the loss behavior of the duct. While the duct loss is demonstrated to be primarily driven by the core flow between two duct struts, the losses associated with the flow close to the struts and in the strut wakes are highly dependent on the relative position between the high-pressure turbine vane and the strut leading edge, as well as the interaction between vane wake and ejected purge flow. Hence, while the turbine center frame duct pressure loss depends on the duct geometric characteristics it is also influenced by the presence and rate of the high-pressure turbine purge flows. This first-time experimental assessment demonstrates that a reduction in the high-pressure turbine purge and cooling air requirement not only benefits the engine system performance by decreasing the secondary flow taken from the high-pressure compressor but also by lowering the turbine center frame total pressure loss.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.