Film cooling is used to protect turbine components from the extreme temperatures by ejecting coolant through arrays of holes to create an air buffer from the hot combustion gases. Limitations in traditional machining meant film cooling holes universally have sharp inlets which create separation regions at the hole entrance. The present study uses experimental and computational data to show that these inlet separation are a major cause of performance variation in crossflow fed film cooling holes. Three hole designs were experimentally tested by independently varying the coolant velocity ratio (VR) and the coolant channel velocitty ratio (VRc) to isolate the effects of crossflow on hole performance. Leveraging additive manufacturing technologies, the addition of a 0.25D radius fillet to the inlet of a 7-7-7 shaped hole is shown to significantly improve diffuser usage and significantly reduce variation in performance with VRc. A second AM design used a very large radius of curvature inlet to reduce biasing caused by the inlet crossflow. Experiments showed that this “swept” hole design did minimize biasing of coolant flow to one side of the shaped hole and it significantly reduced variations due to varying VRc. RANS simulations at six VR and three VRc conditions were made for each geometry to better understand how the new geometries changed the velocity field within the hole. The sharp and rounded inlets were seen to have very similar tangential velocity fields and jet biasing. Both AM inlets created more uniform, slower velocity fields entering the diffuser. The results of this paper indicate large improvements in film cooling performance can be found by leveraging AM technology.

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