This paper describes the interpretation of a generation mechanism of profile loss of low pressure turbine (LPT) blades from a viewpoint of blade drag forces. On the analogy of profile drag of an isolated body, the profile loss of a cascade blade is subdivided into two components, the loss due to friction drag and the loss due to pressure drag. The friction drag is equal to the integral of all axial component of shearing stresses taken over the surface of the blade. The pressure drag, which does not exist in an inviscid flow, is due to the fact that the presence of the boundary later modifies the pressure distribution on the blade.
The losses due to friction drag and pressure drag are evaluated for two kinds of blade profiles using the results of steady incompressible Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations at three different Reynolds numbers (Re), 57,000, 100,000 and 147,000. It is found that the trend of the total profile loss with Reynolds number is mainly determined by the trend of the loss due to pressure drag with Reynolds number. A rise in the total profile loss of the blade with a laminar separation bubble on the suction surface at low Reynolds number is mainly attributed to the increase in the pressure drag due to thickened suction surface boundary layer by the enlarged separation bubble.
The friction drag and the pressure drag are also estimated for the measured data of low speed linear cascade tests with a moving-bar mechanism. In the estimation, the pressure drag is derived from the estimated total profile loss and the estimated friction drag by using boundary layer integral equations. It is found that the trend of total profile loss with incoming wake passing frequency is almost determined by the trend of the loss due to pressure drag with the wake passing frequency.