Experimental results are presented which show the influence on the secondary flow and its losses by a profile modification of the leading edge very close to the endwall. The investigation was carried out with a well-known turbine profile that originally was developed for highly loaded low pressure turbines. The tests were done in a low speed cascade wind tunnel. The geometrical modification was achieved by a local thickness increase; a leading edge endwall bulb. It was expected that this would intensify the suction side branch of the horse-shoe (hs-) vortex with a desirable weakening effect on the passage vortex. The investigated configuration shows a reduction of secondary losses by 2.1 percent points that represents approximately 50 percent of these losses compared to the reference profile. Detailed measurements of the total pressure field behind the cascade are presented for both the reference and the modified profile. The influence of the modified hs-vortex on the overall passage vortex can be clearly seen. The results of a numerical analysis are compared with the experimental findings. A numerical analysis shows that the important details of the experimental findings can be reproduced. Quantitative values are locally different. The theoretical approach taken cannot yet be used for an exact prediction of the loss reduction. However, the analysis of the interaction and the resulting tendencies are considered to be valid. Hence, theoretical investigations as a guideline for the design of a leading edge bulb at the endwall are a valuable tool.

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