The design of modern aero engines enhances the interaction between components and facilitates the propagation of circumferential distortions of total pressure and temperature. As a consequence, the inlet conditions of a real turbine have significant spatial non-uniformities, which have direct consequences on both its aerodynamic and vibration characteristics.
This work presents the results of an experimental study on the effects of different inlet total pressure distortion-stator clocking positions on the propagation of total pressure inflow disturbances through a low pressure turbine stage, with a particular focus on both the aerodynamic and aeroelastic performance. Measurements at a stable engine relevant operating condition and during transient operation were carried out in a one and a half stage subsonic turbine test facility at the Institute of Thermal Turbomachinery and Machine Dynamics at Graz University of Technology. A localised total pressure distortion was generated upstream of the stage in three different azimuthal positions relative to the stator vanes. The locations were chosen in order to align the distortion directly with a vane leading edge, suction side and pressure side. Additionally, a setup with clean inflow was used as reference. Steady and unsteady aerodynamic measurements were taken downstream of the investigated stage by means of a five-hole-probe (5HP) and a fast response aerodynamic pressure probe (FRAPP) respectively. Strain gauges applied on different blades were used in combination with a telemetry system to acquire the rotor vibration data.
The aerodynamic interactions between the stator and rotor rows and the circumferential perturbation were studied through the identification of the main structures constituting the flow field. This showed that the steady and unsteady alterations created by the distortion in the flow field lead to modifications of the rotor vibration characteristics. Moreover, the importance of the impact that the pressure distortion azimuthal position has on the LPT stage aerodynamics and vibrations was highlighted.