Abstract

In this paper, we investigated the effects of herringbone riblets, a type of bio-inspired micro-scale surface patterns, on pressure losses and flow turning angles in a linear cascade over a range of low Reynolds numbers from 0.50 × 105 to 1.50 × 105 and at three different incidence angles. Our experiments showed that despite their micro-scale size, herringbone riblets produced a significant reduction in pressure loss and a substantial increase in flow turning angle except at the low end of the Reynolds numbers tested. In comparison to the baseline case without riblets, the highest reduction in the zone-averaged pressure loss coefficient behind one flow passage was 36.4% which was accompanied by a 4.1 deg increase in the averaged turning angle. The loss reduction was caused by a decrease in γmax at α = −1 deg, a narrower wake zone at α = 9 deg and a mixture of both at α = 4 deg due to the suppression of flow separation on the blade suction surface. It was also noted that such a significant improvement was always accompanied by the appearance of a serrated wake structure in the contours of pressure loss coefficient in which the region with a higher loss reduction occurring directly behind the divergent region of herringbone riblets. The observed improvement in cascade performance was attributed to the secondary flow motion produced by herringbone riblets which energizes the boundary layer. Overall, this work has produced convincing experimental evidence that herringbone riblets could be potentially used as passive flow control devices for reducing flow separation in compressors at low Reynolds numbers.

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