The heat transferred to the turbine blade is substantially increased as the turbine inlet temperature is increased. Cooling methods are therefore much needed for the turbine blades to ensure a long durability and safe operation. The blade tip region is exposed to the hot gas flows. A common way to cool the tip is to use serpentine passages with 180-deg turn under the blade tip cap taking advantage of the three-dimensional turning effect and impingement. Improving internal convective cooling is therefore required to increase the blade tip life. In this paper, augmented heat transfer of a blade tip has been investigated numerically. The computational models consist of a two-pass channel with 180-deg turn and an array of pin-fins mounted on the tip-cap, and a smooth two-pass channel. Inlet Reynolds numbers are ranging from 100,000 to 600,000. The computations are 3D, steady, incompressible and stationary. The detailed 3D fluid flow and heat transfer over the tip surfaces are presented. The overall performance of the two models is evaluated. It is found that the pin-fins make the counter-rotating vortices towards pin-fin surfaces, resulting in continuous turbulent mixing near the pin-finned tip. Due to the combination of turning, impingement and pin-fin crossflow, the heat transfer coefficient of the pin-finned tip is a factor of as much as 1.84 higher than that of a smooth tip. This augmentation is achieved at the expense of a penalty of pressure drop around 35%. It is suggested that the pin-fins could be used to enhance blade tip heat transfer and cooling.

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