Transition to turbulence under low-pressure turbine conditions

T. W. Simon, R. W. Kaszeta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this paper, the topic of laminar to turbulent flow transition, as applied to the design of gas turbines, is discussed. Transition comes about when a flow becomes sufficiently unstable that the orderly vorticity structure of the laminar layer becomes randomly oriented. Vorticity with a streamwise component leads to rapid growth of eddies of a wide range of sizes and eventually to turbulent flow. Under "natural" transition, infinitesimal disturbances of selected frequencies grow. "Bypass transition" is a term coined to describe a similar process, but one driven by strong external disturbances. Transition proceeds so rapidly that the processes associated with "natural" transition seem to be "bypassed." Because the flow environment in the turbine is disturbed by wakes from upstream airfoils, eddies from combustor flows, jets from film cooling, separation zones on upstream airfoils and steps in the duct walls, transition is of the bypass mode. In this paper, we discuss work that has been done to characterize and model bypass transition, as applied to the turbine environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2001


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