Purdue University Graduate School
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posted on 2023-07-25, 14:31 authored by Luis Angel Zarate-SanchezLuis Angel Zarate-Sanchez

Highly loaded airfoils in low-pressure turbines (LPTs) suffer from laminar flow separation from the suction side of the airfoils aft of the throat of the passages. This separation harms the performance of the engine by reducing the power extraction from the turning air and ultimately reduces the overall turbine efficiency. Flow control techniques have been investigated to eliminate flow separation in aerodynamic surfaces to abate the losses associated with it. This Master of Science Thesis investigates the design, implementation and testing of pulsated injection actuation in a low-Reynolds flow over a wall-mounted hump.

Furthermore, this Thesis expands on the existing expertise in the infrared (IR) thermography measurement technique at the Purdue Experimental Turbine Aerothermal Lab. This is done through an investigation of the factors affecting the IR measurement technique and the development of an optical instrument (borescope) to implement in an annular cascade wind tunnel. IR thermography is used on the wall-mounted hump blowdown tests to detect the separation point in the boundary layer using two techniques: by an investigation of the surface temperature distribution and an investigation of the heat transfer behavior at the surface. Finally, the borescope is commissioned through the first testing campaign of the LPT airfoils, and are processed to thermally investigate the passage.

This thesis succeeds in expanding the IR capabilities within PETAL, and at demonstrating pulsated injection as an effective method to eliminate flow separation. Furthermore, IR successfully detects flow separation on the wall-mounted hump through the two methods presented, as well as detecting the boundary layer reattachment caused by the flow control technique. The limitations of the thermal methodology, as well as those of the optical probe are addressed, and the uncertainties in the measurements are quantified. Finally, steps to continue the studies are suggested at the end of each methodology chapter, including the potential redesign of the IR borescope to improve the quality of measurements. 


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Guillermo Paniagua-Perez

Additional Committee Member 2

Sally Bane

Additional Committee Member 3

Liang Pa