A new experimental technique for the accurate measurement of steady-state metal temperature surface distributions of modern heavily film-cooled turbine vanes has been developed and is described in this paper. The technique is analogous to the thermal paint test, but has been designed for fundamental research. The experimental facility consists of an annular sector cascade of HP turbine vanes from a current production engine. Flow conditioning is achieved by using an annular sector of deswirl vanes downstream of the test section, being both connected by a three-dimensionally contoured duct. As a result, a transonic and periodic flow, highly representative of the engine aerodynamic field, is established: inlet turbulence levels, mainstream Mach and Reynolds numbers, and coolant-to-mainstream total pressure ratio are matched. Since the fully three-dimensional NGV geometry is used, the correct radial pressure gradient and secondary flow development are simulated and the cooling flow redistribution is engine-realistic. To allow heat transfer measurements to be performed, a mainstream-to-coolant temperature difference (up to 33.5 °C) is generated by using two steel-wire mesh heaters, operated in series. NGV surface metal temperatures are measured (between 20 and 40 °C) by wide-band thermochromic liquid crystals. These are calibrated in situ and on a per-pixel basis against vane surface thermocouples, in a heating process that spans the entire colour play and during which the turbine vanes can be assumed to slowly follow a succession of isothermal states. Experimental surface distributions of metal effectiveness are presented in this paper. By employing resin vanes of the same geometry and cooling configuration (to implement adiabatic wall thermal boundary conditions) and the transient liquid crystal technique, surface distributions of external heat transfer coefficient and film cooling effectiveness will be acquired. By combining these measurements with those from the metal vanes, the results can be scaled to engine conditions with a good level of accuracy.

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