Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Prof. Chao Zhang

2nd Supervisor

Prof. Eric Savory

Joint Supervisor


The performance of an aeroengine is influenced by the performance of the compressor system. A typical compressor consists of multistage axial compressors followed by a centrifugal stage. Here, a high-speed centrifugal and an axial stage are investigated in terms of turbulence modelling, flow blockage and rotor-stator (R-S) gap using the commercial software ANSYS CFX. The curvature corrected Shear stress transport (SST-CC) model of Smirnov and Menter is investigated for the first time in a high-speed centrifugal stage in terms of curvature and rotation effects. The SST-CC predictions are compared with the standard SST, Speziale, Sarkar, and Gatski Reynolds stress model (RSM-SSG) and the experimental data in terms of the global performance as well as the velocity profiles at the impeller-diffuser interface. The comparisons show that SST-CC has the best agreement with the experiments at choke condition while SST has better performance at the stall condition. The production term shows the expected sensitivity to the convex and concave curvatures. A new method to quantify blockage for both axial and centrifugal compressors is developed. Both steady and unsteady simulations are used to examine the flow blockage in the axial transonic stage. The variation of the rotor tip blockage with respect to the blade loading shows good agreement with previous studies. The total planar blockage indicates that stall might initiate at the stator trailing edge. The differences between the steady and unsteady predictions are mainly attributed to the local differences in the total pressure profiles at the inlet guide vanes–rotor interface. It was previously argued that reducing the R-S gap improves the efficiency of axial compressors due to reduced viscous mixing of the rotor wake. However, the current simulations show that the smallest R-S gap has the highest levels of total pressure losses within the stator passage and the highest levels of unsteady stator forces at reduced mass flow rates. The unsteadiness in the stator flow field is attributed to the larger stator suction surface boundary layer separation associated with the smallest gap. The smallest R-S gap reduces the viscous mixing of the wake at the expense of the efficiency.