Impact of leading-edge orientation and shape on performance of a compressor blade
Powell, Jonathan D.
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This thesis presents a Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of the aerodynamic performance of circular and elliptical leading edges of compressor blades, with a range of leading-edge droop angles. Specifically, simulations were conducted, with a free stream Mach number of 0.65 to quantify the change in pressure distributions and boundary layer momentum thickness in the leading edge region for a range of incidences on a flat plate with various leading-edge ellipticity ratios, ranging from unity (circular) to 5.5. In addition, the impact of drooping the leading edge was analyzed over a range of incidence angles from zero to 13 degrees. Pressure distributions indicate that elliptical leading edges can eliminate separation bubbles at zero incidence. The results indicated that the minimum loss occurred at an ellipticity ratio of about 3 and elliptical leading edges with a droop slightly greater than the average incidence can significantly decreased aerodynamic losses over a wider range of incidences.
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