The concept of circumferential bending clearance based on Gauss Bimodal Function is proposed to suppress tip leakage flow (TLF) in a highly-loaded turbine cascade. In this method, a new vortex (BV) can be induced to mix with TLV in the middle of tip region and block the development of tip leakage vortex (TLV). Since the blocking effect divides the TLV into two parts, the tip leakage rate and loss of TLF can be reduced significantly. In order to reveal the mechanisms of blocking effect on leakage flow and its influencing factors, the research numerically investigates the effects of environmental conditions on the TLF development in a turbine cascade. The flow field analysis of the optimal bending clearance is in the first place, and then the effects of clearance heights (δ) and incidence angles (α) on the TLF characteristic and loss are investigated respectively.
Results indicate that the blocking effect has a close relationship with the TLF characteristic, which can be divided into the BV migration, TLV-2 location and blocking loss. The nearer distance to the leading edge (LE) and farther distance to the suction side (SS) of BV means a less loss of TLF in bending clearance cases. The further distance away from blade tip and SS of TLV-2 means a larger-scale vortex with more loss. The additional loss in blocking region expands constantly with the increase of clearance height and incidence angle. The bending clearance has limited control effect on TLF with the variation of clearance height, especially the loss increases in Case 2%H. However, it has a strong adaptability with the change of incidence angle, the relative total pressure loss drops up to 16% in Case −5°.