A detailed investigation has been performed to study hub corner stall phenomena in compressor blade rows. Three-dimensional flows in a subsonic annular compressor stator and in a transonic compressor rotor have been analyzed numerically by solving the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations. The numerical results and the existing experimental data are interrogated to understand the mechanism of compressor hub corner stall. Both the measurements and the numerical solutions indicate that a strong twister-like vortex is formed near the rear part of the blade suction surface. Low momentum fluid inside the hub boundary layer is transported toward the suction side of the blade by this vortex. On the blade suction surface near the hub, this vortex forces fluid to move against the main flow direction and a limiting stream surface is formed near the hub. The formation of this vortex is the main mechanism of hub corner stall. When the aerodynamic loading is increased, the vortex initiates further upstream, which results in a larger corner stall region. For the transonic compressor rotor studied in this paper, the numerical solution and the measured data indicate that a mild hub corner stall exists at 100 percent rotor speed. The hub corner stall, however, disappears at the reduced blade loading which occurs at 60 percent rotor design speed. The present study demonstrates that hub corner stall is caused by a three-dimensional vortex system and that it does not seem to be correlated with a simple diffusion factor for the blade row.

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