An experimental study on a gas turbine cascade operating under transonic flow conditions is presented. The flow is compared for airfoil shapes corresponding to the design geometry and the geometry taken from a rotor blade, in an industrial gas turbine burning heavy oil, after a few thousand hours of operation. Steady-state data have been obtained in a linear cascade over a range of isentropic exit Mach numbers from 0.6 to 1.6. The flow field was determined by static pressure measurements on the side walls up- and downstream of the cascade, on one side wall in the blade passage, and on the blade surface at midspan. Furthermore, the flow was visualized by the methods of Schlieren and laser holography. The results show that the choked flow conditions are reached at different steady-state isentropic outlet Mach numbers for the two blade shapes. The deposit, typical for a gas turbine, does not however significantly modify the boundary layer separation point. The flow visualization indicates that the shock wave fluctuations have not been significantly influenced by the important roughness and thickness of the deposit. The experimental results on the two cascades are also compared with two-dimensional time-marching calculations after Denton. In the subsonic regime, good agreement was found for the “clean” blade. For the profile with deposit, the flow cannot be correctly predicted by the time-marching calculation, even in subsonic flow condition. The sonic line calculated by the numerical model under transonic outlet conditions (0.9 < M2S < 1.20) does not agree with the laser holography measurements for either of the two cascades.

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