ABSTRACT
INTRODUCTION
Each single reusable Space Launch Initiative
(SLI) booster rocket is an engine operating at a In the recent years the harnessing of increased
record vacuum thrust level of over 730,000 Ibf computing power through parallelization of CFD
using LOX and LH2. This thrust is more than codes has allowed turbomachinery engineers to
10% greater than that of the Delta IV rocket, extend their analyses to the secondary flow paths
resulting in relatively large LOX and LH2 of turbomachines. The prediction of unsteady,
turbopumps. Since the SLI rocket employs a threedimensional viscous flow physics using CFD
staged combustion cycle the level of pressure is for the main compressor and turbine flow paths has
very high (thousands of psia). This high been coupled with the flow through disk and
pressure creates many engineering challenges, housing cavities in an effort to better model and
including the balancing of axial forces on the understandthe actual flow in a turbomachine.
turbopumps. One of the main parameters in the
calculation of the axial force is the cavity One of the main motivations for the analysis of the
pressure upstream of the turbine disk. The flow secondary flow paths has been the necessity to
in this cavity is very complex. The lack of understand and quantify the heat transfer and
understanding of this flow environment hinders cooling capacities of such flows, as well as the
the accurate prediction of axial thrust. In order to performance impact the designer must pay in order
narrow down the uncertainty band around the to use such capacities. Early works in addressing
actual turbine axial force, a coupled, unsteady cavity flows [l41 was driven by the need to
computational methodology has been developed understand the cooling cavity flows in basic
to simulate the interaction between the turbine geometries. The early numerical results reported in
main flow path and the cavity flow. The the literature [such as Refs. 5 and 6, among an
CORSAIR solver, an unsteady three exhaustive list of valuable contributions] have been
dimensional NavierStokes code for based on 2D, steady flow models that do not
turbomachinery applications, was used to solve completely account for the complex environment of
for both the main and the secondary flow fields. rotorstator interaction coupled with the cavity flow
Turbine axial thrust values are presented in field. Recently [A,results of more complex
conjunction with the CFD simulation, together simulations have been reported. Such simulations
with several considerations regarding the turbine are based on the coupling of large and well
instrumentation for axial thrust estimations validated CFD solvers for simultaneous calculations
during test. of the turbine main flow path (e.g., NASA MS
Copyright 02003 by the American Institute of Aeronautics TURBO) and the cavity flow field (e.g., NASA
and Astronautics, Inc. No copyright is asserted in the United SCISEAL). Special attention is focused on grid
States under Title 17, U.S.Code. The U.S.Government has
a royaltyfree license to exercise all rights under the copyright
claimed herein for Governmental Purposes. All other rights
are reserved for the copyright owner.
onautics and Astronautics
I
AIAA20034919
supersonic turbine with straight centerline rotating with so slip boundary conditions enforced
nozzles [lo]. on each.
The computational procedure uses 0and H Given the relatively large size of the grid, the
type zonal grids to discretize the flow field and labyrinth seal is not modeled numerically, as such
facilitate relative motion of the rotating additional modeling would have rendered the study
components. The Ogrids are bodyfitted to the computationally too expensive. Instead, the degree
surfaces of the airfoils and generated using an of wear in the seal is modeled through a pressure
elliptic equation solution procedure. They are drop across the discharge area at the bottom of the
used to properly resolve the viscous flow in the cavity, with the largest the pressure drop
blade passages and to easily apply the algebraic corresponding to the most extensive wear modeled.
turbulence model. The algebraicallygenerated The objective of the calculation is to model the
Hgrids are used to discretize the remainder of cavity flow at progressively larger mass flow rates.
the flow field, including the turbine cavity.
Periodicity is enforced along the outer boundaries
Figure 1 shows an axial cut through the of the Hgrids in the circumferential direction. For
computational grids. The turbine is modeled as a viscous simulations, noslip boundary conditions
53 nozzle/53 blade turbine (111 computationally) are enforced along the solid surfaces. It is
using 111x45~31(H) and 121x45~31(0)grids assumed that the normal derivative of the pressure
for nozzle, and 111x45~31(H) and 121x45~31 is zero at solid wall surfaces. In addition, a
(0)grids for rotor. The cavity is modeled using a specified (zero) heat flux is held constant in time
35x45~111(H) grid. along the solid surfaces.
The circumferential span of the computational Figure 2 shows an instantaneous snapshot of the
domain is 6.8 '. confluence of the two computational domains and a
vector flow visualization of the flow pattern as mass
The computational analysis has been validated flow is captured by the cavity volume.
on several rocketengine turbine geometries,
including coupled components such as straight
centerline nozzles (e.g., Refs. 1014).
The results presented in this report are
Boundarv Conditions circumferentially and time averaged unless
. specified otherwise. Of interest is the radial
The theory of characteristics is used to distribution of pressures p=p(r) for the three
determine the boundary conditions at the inlet different flow regimes considered. Table 1
and exit of the computational domain. For presents the mass flow values for both the cavity
subsonic inlet flow the total pressure, total and the turbine flow path for the three regimes
temperature, and the circumferential and radial denoted as Low Flow (which is the nominal flow as
flow angles are specified as a function of the per design), Medium Flow and High Flow. All
radius. The upstream running Riemann denoted values refer to the mass flow leaked at the
invariant, is extrapolated from the interior of the bottom of the cavity. The algebraic sum of mass
computational domain. flows is not conserved from one case to another:
the turbine boundary conditions, which are inlet
For subsonic outflow the circumferential and pressure and temperature and inlet total to exit
radial flow angles, total pressure, and the total static pressure ratio, together with the coupling of
temperature are extrapolatedfrom the interior of the secondary cavity flow generate slightly different
the computatiqnal domain. For the turbine main flow mass values entering the turbine nozzle. Thus,
flow path the totaltostatic pressure ratio is there is some overall variation in the turbine mass
specified at midspan of the computational exit flow between the different cases. The variation,
and the pressure at all other radial locations at however, is less than one tenth of one percent.
the exit is obtained by integrating the equation
for radial equilibrium. For the cavity flow, the
upper computational domain is coupled with the
main flow computational domain at the Hgrid
area corresponding to the turbine nozzle hub
wall. The cavity walls are one stationary and one
~
AIAA20034919
Table 1 Mass flow values for the three cases section is modeled here) in relation to the rotor
Obdd stator instantaneous position may reduce the
percentage variations shown i.n Table 2. However,
Case Low Flow Med Flow High Flow no such correlation has been identified, the
pressure variations shown in Fig. 5 being a
Turbine 257.4 256.7 256.9
combined effect of variations in pressure at the
cavity I 3.5 4.8 I 8.1 upper lip of the cavity and compressibilityeffects.
Eqn. (2) and the freshly calculated k factor, a 2. Northrop, A., and Owen, J. M., "HeatTransfer
radial pressure distribution is calculated, and Measurements in Rotating Disk Systems, Part
integrated to obtain the axial disk load. Figure 9 2: The Roating Cavity with Radial Outflow of
shows the comparison between the radial Cooling Air." Int. J. Heat and Fluid Flow, Vo1.9,
pressure distributions shown in Fig. 3 and the pp.2736, 1988
pressure distributions obtained based on the
3. Chew, J.W., and Rogers, R.H., "An Integral
four static pressure measurement points, for
Method for the Calculation of Turbulent Forced
each flow case. With the exception of the top
Convection in a Rotating Cavity with Radial
portion, the radial pressure distribution is
matched well for the cases when the choice is to Outflow", Int. J Heat and Fluid Flow, Vo1.9
pp.37, 1988.
dace the Dressure sensor at midtolower radii
;ather thai higher radii in the cavity. Optimum 4. Graber, D.J., Daniels, W.A., and Johnson, B.V.,
for the present case is the KP2 location at the "Disk Pumping Test:, AFWALTR872050,
5.75 in radius, which is also the location of the 1987.
bulkier local volume in the cavity geometry. This
observation is valid for the cavity geometry at 5. Virr, G.P., Chew, j. W., and Coupland, J.,
hand, but a generalization cannot be made "Application of CFD to Turbine Disk Cavities", J
without analyzing a large number of other Turbomachinery, Vol.116, pp.701708,1994.
geometries of cavities. Table 3 lists the values 6. Athavale, M.M., Przekwas, A.J., Hendricks,
for the axial turbine disk loads computed for the R.C. and Steinetz, B.M., "Numerical Analysis of
pressure distributions shown in Fig. 9 using Intra Cavity and PowerStream Flow Interaction
expression (1). in Multiple GasTurbine DiskCavities", ASME
95GT325, 1995.
Table 3. Turbine disk axial loads (Ibf).
7. Athavale, M.M., Steinetz, B.M. and Hendricks,
I I LowFlow I MedFlow I High Flow I B.M., "Gas Turbine PrimarySecondary
Flowpath Interaction: Transiend, Coupled
~
I t
I 1 
Case F(lbf) 1 %err I F(lbf) I o/err I F(lbf) I %err Simulations and Comparison with
KP1 19785 10.5 20957 9.6 24538 12.8 Experiments", AIAA20013627,2001.
KP2 17611 1.6 19106 0.1 21282 2.1 8. Roe, P. L., "Approximate Riemann Solvers,
KP3 17485 2.3 18467 3.4 20660 5.0 Parameter Vectors, and Difference Schemes,"
I KP4 I 17185 I 4.0 I 18260 I 4.5. I 20495 I 5.8 I Journal of Computational Physics, Vol. 43,
1981, pp. 357372.
Summarv and Conclusions 9. Baldwin, B. S., and Lomax, H., "Thin Layer
Approximation and Algebraic Model for
A series of numerical simulations have been Separated Turbulent Flow," AlAA Paper 78
performed for a coupled turbinekavity geometry. 257, Huntsville, AL, January, 1978.
The simulations were performed for three
different leakage rates and levels of wear. The
predicted results differed from traditional swirl 10. Griiin, L. W. and Dorney, D. J., "Simulations of
models, but provide valuable insight into the the Unsteady Flow Through the Fastrac
production of the turbine disk axial thrust loads. Supersonic Turbine," ASME Journal of
The application of a CFD analysis to determine Turbomachinery, Vol. 122, No. 2, April, 2000,
sensor placement locations in turbine cavities pp. 225233.
was demonstrated.
.
AIAA20349 19
Figure 2. Interface between the turbine main flow path and cavity flow: fluid is being ingested into the
cavity.
I !
 MedFLow
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:
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.: I
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i >
i y'
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i ...........................
5
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/
/ j . J
c'd.)' 0
#
I I
I 3370 3380 3390 3400 3410 3

'
Pressue Psi
7
7r:g
,,."2

... >? ..
.....
........
......
I . . . . . . . ,.
6.5
6
I _
5.5 
5
4.5  .......
............
__
_. ....
_.
._
I  _. _L
c _
2 S k T , 2.5
a)
Figure 4. Cavity flow field for a) Low Flow b) Medium Flow and c) High Flow cases
'
I,,
,,,
,
...
Figure 5. Cavity radial pressure distributions and the associate ranges of variations for a) Low Flow, b)
Medium Flow and c) High Flow.
............................... i.............................
..........................
I I i
0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25
punping factor K value
Figure 7. Comparison between cavity radial pressure distributionsas computed from the CFD flow
solution and from the swirl flow model. The K factor values from figure 6 have been used, after
smoothing.
AIAA200349 19
5.5
4.5
2.5
0.5 I
ly I , , , , ,
Figure 9. Cavity radial pressure distribution calculated based on the various K factors anchored based on
pressure measurement at the four KP points shown in figure 8.