This paper presents an experimental study of the behavior of leakage flow across shrouded turbine blades. Stereoscopic particle image velocimetry and fast response aerodynamic probe measurements have been conducted in a low-speed two-stage axial turbine with a partial shroud. The dominant flow feature within the exit cavity is the radially outward motion of the main flow into the shroud cavity. The radial migration of the main flow is induced by flow separation at the trailing edge of the shroud due to a sudden area expansion. The radially outward motion is the strongest at mid-pitch as a result of interactions between vortices formed within the cavity. The main flow entering the exit cavity divides into two streams. One stream moves upstream towards the adjacent seal knife and reenters the main flow stream. The other stream moves downstream due to the interaction with the thin seal leakage flow layer. Closer to the casing wall, the flow interacts with the underturned seal leakage flow and gains swirl. Eventually, axial vorticity is generated due to these complex flow interactions. This vorticity is generated by a vortex tilting mechanism and gives rise to additional secondary flow. Due to these fluid motions combined with a contoured casing wall, three layers (the seal leakage layer, cavity flow layer, and main flow) are formed downstream of the shroud cavity. This result is different from the two-layer structure which is found downstream of conventional shroud cavities. The seal leakage jet formed through the seal clearance still exists at 25.6 percent axial chord downstream of the second rotor. This delay of complete dissipation of the seal leakage jet and its mixing with the cavity flow layer is due to the contoured casing wall. Time-averaged flow downstream of the shroud cavity shows the upstream stator’s influence on the cavity flow. The time-averaged main flow can be viewed as a wake flow induced by the upstream stator whose separation at the shroud trailing edge induces pitchwise non-uniformity of the cavity flow.

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