The tip-clearance flow in axial turbomachines is studied using large-eddy simulation with particular emphasis on understanding the underlying mechanisms for viscous losses in the end-wall region and the unsteady characteristics of the tip-leakage vortical structures. Systematic and detailed analysis of the mean flow field and turbulence statistics has been made in a linear cascade with a moving end-wall. The tip-leakage jet and tip-leakage vortex are found to produce significant mean velocity gradients, leading to the production of vorticity and turbulent kinetic energy. These are the major causes for viscous losses in the cascade end-wall region. An analysis of the energy spectra and space-time correlations of the velocity fluctuations suggests that the tip-leakage vortex is subject to a pitchwise low frequency wandering motion.

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