Influence of backward-and forward-facing steps on the flow through a turning mid turbine frame

Sabine Bauinger*, Emil Goettlich, Franz Heitmeir, Franz Malzacher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For this work, reality effects, more precisely backward-facing steps (BFSs) and forwardfacing steps (FFSs), and their influence on the flow through a two-stage two-spool turbine rig under engine-relevant conditions were experimentally investigated. The test rig consists of an high pressure (HP) and an low pressure (LP) stage, with the two rotors rotating in opposite direction with two different rotational speeds. An S-shaped transition duct, which is equipped with turning struts (so-called turning mid turbine frame (TMTF)) and making therefore a LP stator redundant, connects both stages and leads the flow from a smaller to a larger diameter. This test setup allows the investigation of a TMTF deformation, which occurs in a real aero-engine due to non-uniform warming of the duct during operation-especially during run up-and causes BFSs and FFSs in the flow path. This happens for nonsegmented ducts, which are predominantly part of smaller engines. In the case of the test rig, steps were not generated by varying temperature but by shifting the TMTF in horizontal direction while the rotor and its casing were kept in the same position. In this way, both BFSs and FFSs between duct endwalls and rotor casing could be created. In order to avoid steps further downstream of the interface between HP rotor and TMTF, the complete aft rig was moved laterally too. In this case, the aft rig incorporates among others the LP rotor, the LP rotor casing, and the deswirler downstream of the LP stage. In order to catch the influence of the steps on the whole flow field, 360 deg rake traverses were performed downstream of the HP rotor, downstream of the duct, and downstream of the LP rotor with newly designed, laser-sintered combi-rakes for the measurement of total pressure and total temperature. Only the compact design of the rakes, which can be easily realized by additive manufacturing, makes the aforementioned 360 deg traverses in this test rig possible and allows a number of radial measurements positions, which is comparable to those of a five-hole probe. To get a more detailed information about the flow, also five-hole probe measurements were carried out in three measurement planes and compared to the results of the combi-rakes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121005
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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