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An experimental, aerodynamic evaluation of design choices for a low-pressure compressor transition duct
The S-shaped duct which transfers flow from the low-pressure fan to the engine core in large civil turbofans presents a challenging problem. Aerodynamically it has a spatially and temporarily varying inlet flow combined with a complex flow field which develops under the combined influence of pressure gradients and streamline curvature. It must also accommodate the transfer of structural loads and services across the main gas path. This necessitates the use of structural vanes which can compromise aerodynamics, introduce unwanted component interactions, and erode performance. This must all be achieved with minimum length/weight and without flow separation. This paper presents a comprehensive aerodynamic evaluation of three design options for a transition duct containing (i) a long-chord, structural compressor outlet guide vane, (ii) a aerodynamically optimal but non-structural outlet guide vane in conjunction with a small number of load bearing struts and (iii) a fully integrated outlet guide vane and strut design. Evaluation was performed using a low-speed test facility incorporating a 1 ½ stage axial compressor and engine representative transition duct. Measured data suggest that all the options were viable. However, the aerodynamic vane and discrete struts produced the lowest system loss with the other two options being comparable. The performance of the structural vane was sensitive to off-design conditions producing a notable increase in loss at a low flow coefficient. The optimized aerodynamic vanes were much less sensitive to off-design conditions whilst the fully integrated design showed only very small changes in loss.
Aerospace Technology Institute as part of the iCORE (Integrated Core Technologies) program.
- Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering
- Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering