An extensive experimental investigation was carried out to examine the tip-leakage flow on ducted propulsors. The flow field around three-bladed, ducted rotors operating in uniform inflow was measured in detail with three-dimensional laser Doppler velocimetry and planar particle imaging velocimetry. Two geometrically similar, ducted rotors were tested over a Reynolds number range from to in order to determine how the tip-leakage flow varied with Reynolds number. An identification procedure was used to discern and quantify regions of concentrated vorticity in instantaneous flow fields. Multiple vortices were identified in the wake of the blade tip, with the largest vortex being associated with the tip-leakage flow, and the secondary vortices being associated with the trailing edge vortex and other blade-wake vortices. The evolution of identified vortex quantities with downstream distance is examined. It was found that the strength and core size of the vortices are weakly dependent on Reynolds number, but there are indications that they are affected by variations in the inflowing wall boundary layer on the duct. The core size of the tip-leakage vortex does not vary strongly with varying boundary layer thickness on the blades. Instead, its dimension is on the order of the tip clearance. There is significant flow variability for all Reynolds numbers and rotor configurations. Scaled velocity fluctuations near the axis of the primary vortex increase significantly with downstream distance, suggesting the presence of spatially uncorrelated fine scale secondary vortices and the possible existence of three-dimensional vortex-vortex interactions.
Development of a Tip-Leakage Flow—Part 1: The Flow Over a Range of Reynolds Numbers
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Oweis, G. F., Fry, D., Chesnakas, C. J., Jessup, S. D., and Ceccio, S. L. (March 2, 2006). "Development of a Tip-Leakage Flow—Part 1: The Flow Over a Range of Reynolds Numbers." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. July 2006; 128(4): 751–764. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2201616
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