A computational study is carried out to understand the physical mechanism responsible for the improvement in stall margin of an axial flow rotor due to the circumferential casing grooves. It is shown that the computational tool used predicts an increase in operating range of the rotor when casing groves are present. A budget of the axial momentum equation is carried out at the rotor casing in the tip gap in order to uncover the physical process behind this stall margin improvement. It is shown that for the smooth casing the net axial pressure force at the rotor casing in the tip gap is balanced by the net axial shear stress force. However in the presence of casing grooves the net axial shear stress force acting at the casing is augmented by the axial force due to the radial transport of axial momentum, which occurs across the grooves and power stream interface. This additional force adds to the net axial viscous shear force and thus leads to an increase in the stall margin of the rotor.

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