Modern methods for axial compressor design are capable of shaping the blade surfaces in a three dimensional way. Linking these methods with automated optimization techniques provides a major benefit to the design process. The application of non-axisymmetric contoured endwalls is considered to be very successful in turbine rotors and vanes. Concerning axial compressors non-axisymmetric endwalls are still a field of research. This two-part paper presents the recent development of a novel endwall design. An aerodynamic separator, generated by a non-axisymmetric endwall groove, interacts with the passage vortex. This major impact on the secondary flow results in a significant loss reduction because of load redistribution, reduction of recirculation areas and suppressed corner separation. The first paper deals with the development of the initial endwall design using a linear compressor cascade application. A brief introduction of the design methods is provided, including the automated optimization, the 3D process chain with a focus on the endwall contouring tool. Hereafter the resulting flow phenomena and physics due to the modified endwall surface are described and analyzed in detail. Additionally, the endwall design principal is transferred to an axial compressor stage. The endwall groove is applied to the hub and casing endwalls of the stator and the initial numerical investigation is presented. For highly loaded operating points the flow behaviour at the hub region can be improved in accord with the cascade results. Obviously, the casing region is dominated by the incoming tip vortex generated by the rotor and still remains an area for further investigations concerning non-axisymmetric endwall contouring.

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