Currently, there is a deficit of experimental data for surface heat transfer characteristics and thermal transport processes associated with tip gap flows, and a lack of understanding of performance and behavior of film cooling as applied to blade tip surfaces. As a result, many avenues of opportunity exist for development of creative tip configurations with innovative external cooling arrangements. Overall goals of the present investigations are to reduce cooling air requirements, and reduce thermal loading, with equivalent improvements of thermal protection and structural integrity. Described is the development of experimental facilities, including a Supersonic/Transonic Wind Tunnel and linear cascade, for investigations of surface heat transfer characteristics of transonic turbine blade tips with unique squealer geometries and innovative film cooling arrangements. Note that data from past investigations are used to illustrate some of the experimental procedures and approaches which will be employed within the investigation. Of interest is development of a two-dimensional linear cascade with appropriate cascade airfoil flow periodicity. Included are boundary layer flow bleed devices, downstream tailboards, and augmented cascade inlet turbulence intensity. The present linear cascade approach allows experimental configuration parameters to be readily varied. Tip gap magnitudes are scaled so that ratios of tip gap to inlet boundary layer thickness, ratios of tip gap to blade axial chord length, and ratios of tip gap magnitudes to blade true chord length match engine hardware configurations. Ratios of inlet boundary layer thickness to tip gap range from 3 to 5. Innovative film cooling configurations are utilized for one blade tip configuration, and scaled engine components are modelled and tested with complete external cooling arrangements. Blade tip and geometry characteristics are also considered, including squealer depth and squealer tip wall thickness. With these experimental components, results will be obtained with engine representative transonic Mach numbers, Reynolds numbers, and film cooling parameters, including density ratios, which are achieved using foreign gas injection with carbon dioxide. Transient, infrared thermography approaches will be employed to measure spatially-resolved distributions of surface heat transfer coefficients, adiabatic surface temperature, and adiabatic film cooling effectiveness.

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