The improvement of compressor performance is facing a new technological challenge, as the compressor is considered as one of the core components in a gas turbine. Tip leakage flow affects the aerodynamic performance of the compressor rotor directly, then the compressor performance can be improved by reasonably controlling it. In recent years, the blade tip winglet has been certainly concerned as an effective flow control method for reducing the leakage loss. The mechanism of using tip winglets to control tip leakage flow in compressor cascade has been investigated in the condition of low Mach number, whereas the research in high subsonic incoming conditions also needs to be considered.
To investigate the effect of the pressure surface winglet on the aerodynamic performance of a compressor cascade at high subsonic inlet Mach numbers, an experiment compared cascades with no winglet and different width pressure surface tip winglets at different inlet Mach numbers (Ma = 0.5, 0.6 and 0.7). Results show that the pressure surface winglet weakened the pressure gradient on both sides of the blade and reduced flow loss in the condition of high subsonic Mach numbers, which in turn tip clearance flow. When pressure surface tip winglet width increased, the improving degree is increased. At the same time, a change in Mach number had a proportional the effect on tip leakage flow control. The most effective pressure surface winglet was PW2.0 at the inlet Mach number of 0.7, which produced the most significant cascade loss reduction of 6.53% when compared to the original cascade at the same inlet Mach number.
To investigate the characteristics of the compressor cascade at different incidences, the Mach number was set at 0.7 and the characteristics of cascade flow at −6°, −3°, 0°, +3° and +6°were studied. Pressure surface winglets with different widths reduced both the influence range of the leakage flow and the strength of the leakage vortex. As the tip winglet width increased, the influence of the tip winglet on the cascade flow increased. When incidences moved from negative to positive, the improvement effect of the cascade flow field with the pressure surface winglet was enhanced. When the incidence was+6°, for example the improvement effects the PW2.0 on cascade loss was 12.4%.
The flow characteristics in the compressor cascade with the pressure surface winglets behave better at different Mach numbers and incidences. Through the research in this paper, the improvement effect and mechanism of the aerodynamic performance of the pressure surface winglet in high subsonic Mach number are clearer, and the application range of the winglet is widened, which provides a rich reference for the optimization design of compressor with high subsonic Mach number.