Experimental evaluation of an inlet profile generator for high-pressure turbine tests

M. D. Barringer, K. A. Thole, Marc D. Polanka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Improving the performance and durability of gas turbine aircraft engines depends highly on achieving a better understanding of the flow interactions between the combustor and turbine sections. The flow exiting the combustor is very complex and it is characterized primarily by elevated turbulence and large variations in temperature and pressure. The heat transfer and aerodynamic losses that occur in the turbine passages are driven primarily by these spatial variations. To better understand these effects, the goal of this work is to benchmark an adjustable turbine inlet profile generator for the Turbine Research Facility (TRF) at the Air Force Research Laboratory. The research objective was to experimentally evaluate the performance of the nonreacting simulator that was designed to provide representative combustor exit profiles to the inlet of the TRF turbine test section. This paper discusses the verification testing that was completed to benchmark the performance of the generator. Results are presented in the form of temperature and pressure profiles as well as turbulence intensity and length scale. This study shows how a single combustor geometry can produce significantly different flow and thermal field conditions entering the turbine. Engine designers should place emphasis on obtaining accurate knowledge of the flow distribution within the combustion chamber. Turbine inlet conditions with significantly different profile shapes can result in altered flow physics that can change local aerodynamics and heat transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-394
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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