Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

George Huang (Advisor), Paul King (Committee Member), Guillermo Paniagua (Advisor), Joseph Shang (Committee Member), Mitch Wolff (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The desire for high performance and low fuel consumption aero-engines has been pushing the limits of the turbomachinery and leading cutting-edge engine designs to fulfill the demand. The number of stages is reduced to achieve the same pressure ratios over lighter turbines. The extreme expansion requirements result in transonic-supersonic flow fields. Transonic and supersonic turbines are exposed to the shock waves that appear at the trailing edge of the airfoils, generating substantial efficiency deduction due to the interaction with the boundary layer. Furthermore, pressure fluctuations created by the shocks result in unsteady forcing on downstream components and eventually cause high cycle fatigue. Component failure may lead reduced service life and further damage on the engine. A novel proposal to control the resulting fish tail shock waves consists on, pulsating coolant blowing through the trailing edge of the airfoils. The changes in the base region topology and fish tail shock wave were numerically investigated for a wide range of purge flow at simplified blunt and circular trailing edge geometries. An optimum purge rate which increases the base pressure and significantly reduces the trailing edge shock wave intensity was found. The effects of pulsating base pressure on the shock properties and the base region was investigated in detail to understand the mechanisms driving the flow field under unsteady bleed. A linear cascade representative of modern turbine bladings was specifically designed and constructed. The test matrix comprised four Mach numbers, from subsonic to supersonic regimes (0.8, 0.95, 1.1 and 1.2) together with two engine representative Reynolds numbers (4 and 6 million) at various blowing rates. The blade loading, the downstream pressure distributions and the unsteady wall temperature measurements allowed understanding the effects on each leg of the shock structure. Minimum shock intensities were achieved using pulsating cooling. A substantial increase in base pressure and significant reduction in trailing edge loss were observed for low coolant blowing rate. Analysis of the high frequency Schlieren pictures revealed the modulation of the shock waves with the coolant pulsation. The Strouhal number of the vortex shedding was analyzed for all of the conditions. Finally, the statistical analyses of the results showed that the effects of the state of cooling and free stream conditions were statistically significant on the flow properties.

Page Count


Department or Program

Ph.D. in Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Engineering Commons