The available literature on aerodynamic and acoustic properties of axial fans with swept blades is presented and discussed with particular emphasis on noise mechanisms and the influence of high-intensity inlet turbulence on “excess” noise. The acoustic theory of Kerschen and Envia for swept cascades is applied to the problem of axial fan design. These results are compared to available data and a provisional model for specifying sweep angles is presented. The aerodynamic performance theory for swept-bladed rotors of Smith and Yeh is adapted for use in designing low-speed axial fans. Three prototype fans were designed using the resultant computer codes. One is a baseline fan with blade stocking lines radially oriented, and two are fans having swept blades of increasingly greater forward sweep. Aerodynamic testing shows that performance of the fans lies within a band width of about ± 2 percent of volume flow rate and pressure rise predictions in the region of design performance, effectively validating the design procedure for selection of the blading parameters. Noise testing of the fans was carried out and the results show an average noise reduction for the swept-bladed fans of about 7 dBA overall, and a reduction of pure tone noise at blade-pass frequency of about 10 dB compared to the zero-sweep baseline model, in close agreement with the theory of Kerschen and Envia.

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