A novel sector test rig has been used to evaluate a new airfoil concept for multistage radial compressors. The test rig is supported by a blow-down facility where the operation conditions are adjusted by controlling mass flow, pressure and temperature. At inlet to the sector test rig itself a set of adjustable inlet guide vanes provide the test vanes with the correct inlet three-dimensional flow-field. The rig is equipped with instrumentation to allow a detailed description of the inlet and outlet conditions, as well as the blade pressure loading. This rig, using rapid prototyped vanes, allows design candidates to be screened quickly and is ideal for conducting an experimental investigation of a design space using a Design-of-Experiments approach. In this paper the rationale for the sector approach is described, the design of the test rig with 3D-CFD methods is outlined and a detailed validation of the rig is presented. For the vane in question detailed investigations of different operation points close to stall are reported, blade pressures and inlet and exit flow profiles are given. Where applicable, measurement data from the sector rig was compared to 3D-CFD calculations of the full annulus multistage configuration, to 3D-CFD calculations of the sector rig itself and to the test results from a 1.5-stage rotating test rig. The measurement data are compared to the CFD predictions and served as a calibration basis for the design tools.

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