Preliminary results of unsteady numerical simulations of disk cavity flow in interaction with the main gaspath flow in an axial turbine are presented in this article. A large periodic sector including vanes, blades and disk cavity of approximately 74° has been used in order to allow for the formation of large scale flow structures within the cavity. Three purge flow rates have been tested, namely no purge, low purge and high purge flow rates. Energetic large scale flow structures are detected through flow visualizations for the two lowest purge flow rates. They are found to rotate at an angular velocity slightly less than the rotor speed. The presence of the large scale structures involves important pressure perturbations inside the cavity that may lead to deep mass flow ingress, whereas the unsteady vane-blade interaction seems to cause only shallow ingress. Increasing purge flow rate appears to have a stabilizing effect on the pressure fluctuations inside the cavity and to reduce the intensity of the large scale flow structures.

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