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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5921463, 14 pages
Research Article

Vane Clocking Effects on Stator Suction Side Boundary Layers in a Multistage Compressor

School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 500 Allison Road, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Received 29 December 2015; Accepted 14 April 2016

Academic Editor: Tariq Iqbal

Copyright © 2016 Natalie R. Smith and Nicole L. Key. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The stator inlet flow field in a multistage compressor varies in the pitchwise direction due to upstream vane wakes and how those wakes interact with the upstream rotor tip leakage flows. If successive vane rows have the same count, then vane clocking can be used to position the downstream vane in the optimum circumferential position for minimum vane loss. This paper explores vane clocking effects on the suction side vane boundary layer development by measuring the quasi-wall shear stress on the downstream vane at three spanwise locations. Comparisons between the boundary layer transition on Stator 1 and Stator 2 are made to emphasize the impact of rotor-rotor interactions which are not present for Stator 1 and yet contribute significantly to transition on Stator 2. Vane clocking can move the boundary layer transition in the path between the wakes by up to 24% of the suction side length at midspan by altering the influence of the Rotor 1 wakes in the 3/rev modulation from rotor-rotor interactions. The boundary layer near the vane hub and tip experiences earlier transition and separation due to interactions with the secondary flows along the shrouded endwalls. Flow visualization and Stator 2 wakes support the shear stress results.