As overall pressure ratios increase in gas turbine engines, both the main gas path and cooling temperatures increase leading to component durability concerns. At the same time effective use of the secondary air for both cooling and sealing becomes increasingly important in terms of engine efficiency. To fully optimize these competing requirements, experiments at engine-relevant conditions are required to validate new designs and computational tools. A test turbine has been commissioned in the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) lab. The test turbine was designed to be a 1.5 stage turbine operating under continuous flow simulating engine-relevant conditions including Reynolds and Mach numbers with hardware true to engine scale. The first phase of research conducted using the test turbine, which was configured for a half-stage (vane only), was to study hot gas ingestion through turbine rim seals.
This paper presents a series of facility benchmarks as well as validation experiments conducted to study ingestion using a tracer gas to quantify the performance of rim seals and purge flows. Sensitivity studies included concentration levels and sampling flow rates in flow regimes that ranged from stagnant to compressible depending upon the area of interest. The sensitivity studies included a range of purge and leakage flow conditions for several locations in the rim seal and cavity areas. Results indicate reasonable sampling methods were used to achieve isokinetic sampling conditions.