Effect of Turbine Blade Tip Cooling Configuration on Tip Leakage Flow and Heat Transfer

Sakaoglu S., Kahveci H. S.

JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, vol.142, no.2, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 142 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1115/1.4045466
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, Metadex, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: turbine blade, tip leakage flow, pressure loss, heat transfer, tip cooling, SQUEALER TIP


The pressure difference between suction and pressure sides of a turbine blade leads to tip leakage flow, which adversely affects the first-stage high-pressure (HP) turbine blade tip aerodynamics. In modern gas turbines, HP turbine blade tips are exposed to extreme thermal conditions requiring cooling. If the coolant jet directed into the blade tip gap cannot counter the leakage flow, it will simply add up to the pressure losses due to leakage. Therefore, the compromise between the aerodynamic loss and the gain in tip-cooling effectiveness must be optimized. In this paper, the effect of tip-cooling configuration on the turbine blade tip is investigated numerically from both aerodynamics and thermal aspects to determine the optimum configuration. Computations are performed using the tip cross section of GE-E3 HP turbine first-stage blade for squealer and flat tips, where the number, location, and diameter of holes are varied. The study presents a discussion on the overall loss coefficient, total pressure loss across the tip clearance, and variation in heat transfer on the blade tip. Increasing the coolant mass flow rate using more holes or by increasing the hole diameter results in a decrease in the area-averaged Nusselt number on the tip floor. Both aerodynamic and thermal response of squealer tips to the implementation of cooling holes is superior to their flat counterparts. Among the studied configurations, the squealer tip with a larger number of cooling holes located toward the pressure side is highlighted to have the best cooling performance.