Experimental results concerning the performance of three high-pressure (HP) transonic turbine blades having fore-, aft- and mid-loadings have been presented previously by Corriveau and Sjolander [1]. Results from that study indicated that by shifting the loading towards the rear of the airfoil, improvements in loss performance of the order of 20% could be obtained near the design Mach number. In order to gain a better understanding of the underlying reasons for the improved loss performance of the aft-loaded blade, additional measurements were performed on the three cascades. Furthermore, 2-D numerical simulations of the cascade flow were performed in order to help in the interpretation of the experimental results. Based on the analysis of additional wake traverse data and base pressure measurements combined with the numerical results, it was found that the poorer loss performance of the baseline mid-loaded profile compared to the aft-loaded blade could be traced back to the former’s higher rear suction side curvature. The presence of higher rear suction surface curvature resulted in higher flow velocity in that region. Higher flow velocity at the trailing edge in turn contributed to reducing the base pressure. The lower base pressure at the trailing edge resulted in a stronger trailing edge shock system for the mid-loaded blade. This shock system increased the losses for the mid-loaded baseline profile when compared to the aft-loaded profile.

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