Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Theodore H. Okiishi


This work addresses the significant differences in compressor rotor wake mixing loss which exist in a stage environment relative to a rotor in isolation. The wake decay for a rotor in isolation is due solely to viscous dissipation which is an irreversible process and thus leads to a loss in both total pressure and efficiency. Rotor wake decay in the stage environment is due to both viscous mixing and the inviscid strain imposed on the wake fluid particles by the stator velocity field. This straining process, referred to by Smith (1993) as recovery, is reversible and for a 2D rotor wake leads to an inviscid reduction of the velocity deficit of the wake;A model for the rotor wake decay process is developed and used to quantify the viscous dissipation effects relative to those of inviscid wake stretching. The model is verified using laser anemometer measurements acquired in the wake of a transonic rotor operated in isolation and in a stage configuration at near peak efficiency and near stall operating conditions. Additional insight is provided by a time-accurate 3D Navier Stokes simulation of the compressor stator flow field at the corresponding stage loading levels. Results from the wake decay model exhibit good agreement with the experimental data. Data from the model, laser anemometer measurements, and numerical simulations indicate that for the rotor/stator spacing used in this work, which is typical of core compressors, rotor wake straining (stretching) is the primary decay process in the stator passage with viscous mixing playing only a minor role. The implications of these results on compressor stage design are discussed.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Dale E. Van Zante



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

145 pages