The aerodynamic and aeroelastic performance of an advanced axial slot casing treatment (CT) was investigated on a modern one and a half stage transonic compressor test rig. It is generally accepted that a well designed CT can extend the aerodynamic stability range of a compressor to lower mass flows. The extension of stall margin of the compressor rotor blades by using CT has been the subject of numerous research articles but much less attention has been paid to the behavior of the compressor in direct vicinity of the stability limit. For the compressor investigated here, two different phenomena were repeatedly observed near stall: 1) self-excited blade vibration, and 2) low engine order fluctuations developing into rotating stall. The current investigation firstly aims to identify the triggers for each of these phenomena. It then focusses on the aerodynamic and aeromechanical mechanism which lead to the formation of low engine order fluctuations shortly before stall.
In order to measure the unsteady and transient effects, the system was instrumented with unsteady wall pressure transducers, a capacitive tip-timing system and strain gauges on the rotor blades. The flow structure in the blade tip region was measured via Particle Image Velocimetry underneath the CT-Cavities. Measurements showed a strong correlation between CT activity and the development of the low frequency oscillations with associated blade vibrations. Using numerical simulations, presented and validated in this paper, this correlation was attributed to an aerodynamic coupling between rotor passages through the recirculation of fluid inside the cavities.