The effects of tip leakage flow on the performance of multistage compressors used in small core engine applications

Reid A. Berdanier, Nicole L. Key

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Large rotor tip clearances and the associated tip leakage flows are known to have a significant effect on overall compressor performance. However, detailed experimental data reflecting these effects for a multistage compressor are limited in the open literature. As design trends lead to increased overall compressor pressure ratio for thermal efficiency benefits and increased bypass ratios for propulsive benefits, the rear stages of the high-pressure compressor will become physically small. Because rotor tip clearances cannot scale exactly with blade size due to the margin needed for thermal growth considerations, relatively large tip clearances will be a reality for these rear stages. Experimental data have been collected from a three-stage axial compressor to assess performance with three-tip clearance heights representative of current and future small core machines. Trends of overall pressure rise, stall margin, and efficiency are evaluated using clearance derivatives, and the summarized data presented here begin to narrow the margin of tip clearance sensitivities outlined by previous studies in an effort to inform future compressor designs. Furthermore, interstage measurements show stage matching changes and highlight specific differences in the performance of rotor 1 and stator 2 compared to other blade rows in the machine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2443818
JournalJournal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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