Effect of film cooling on the aerodynamic performance of an airfoil

Francesco Lanzillotta, Andrea Sciacchitano, Arvind Gangoli Rao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of film cooling on the aerodynamic performance of turbine blades is becoming increasingly important as the gas turbine operating temperature is being increased in order to increase the performance. The current paper investigates the effect of blowing ratio on the aerodynamic losses of a symmetric airfoil by pressure measurements and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). The test model features 4 rows of holes located on the suction side at 5%, 10%, 15% and 50% of the chord length. The Reynolds number based on the airfoil chord is 1.2 × 105. Experiments are performed by varying the location of air injection, the angle of attack, and the mainstream velocity. The coolant air is injected at ambient temperature and the blowing ratio is varied from 0 to 1.91. It is observed that the losses due to film cooling increase with blowing ratio of 0 to 0.48, and the wake is shifted towards the suction side. Conversely, the aerodynamic losses decrease when the blowing ratio is increased further from 0.64 to 1.91. This trend has been observed for all the experimental configurations. The effect of blowing ratio on flow separation is investigated with the time-averaged velocity fields obtained from PIV measurements. It is observed that low blowing ratios, the separation point shifts upstream and at high blowing ratios the ejected coolant energizes the flow and delays separation. The pressure field around the airfoil is reconstructed from the integration of the Poisson equation based on the PIV velocity fields. The experimental results can be used for validation of numerical models for predicting losses due to film cooling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-120
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Aerodynamic losses
  • Film cooling
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Turbine cooling


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