A Historical Perspective on the Turbomachinery Flow Visualization in an Industry

Fluid-dynamic optimization of trubomachinery flows had been done rather empirically for many years.  Since late 1980s, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) have been applied to turbomachinery flows and contributed greatly to clarify the three-dimensional (3-D) flow phys-ics and improve the fluid-dynamic designs of turbomachinery components in industries.  In 1990s, the 3-D inverse design method had been applied successfully for the optimization of complex secondary flows in a variety of turbomachineries such as pumps, compressors, and turbines and is now achieving drastic improvements of their fluid-dynamic performances.  More recently, numerical optimization has been proposed to achieve multi-point and multi-objective optimization of turbomachinery flows using, for example, DoE (design of Experiments), RSM (Response Surface Model), and MOGA (Multi-Objective Genetic Algo-rithm).

Above mentioned improvements in fluid-dynamics design methodology of turbomachin-eries have been supported by experimental as well as numerical flow visualization techniques for complex 3-D flows, which include phase-locked 3-D pressure field measurements using a high-response Pitot tube (Fig. 1), LDV measurements, multi-color oil-film flow visualization (Fig. 2), 3-D transient CFD for a full machine configuration (Fig. 3), PIV measurements etc.

In the present paper, a historical perspective on the flow visualization of complex 3-D flow fields in turbomachineries in an industry will be discussed together with a message for the future.

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