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Axial Flow Compressor (Rotor NASA 37) CFD Simulation

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The problem is going to simulate the airflow inside an axial flow compressor (Rotor Nasa 37).

This ANSYS Fluent project includes CFD simulation files and a training movie.

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Project Description

The problem is going to simulate the airflow inside an axial flow compressor (Rotor Nasa 37). The present model consists of a series of blades for an axial-flow compressor connected to the central axis within a cylindrical area. To simplify the simulation model, only one row of rotating blades is drawn on the central rotor of the compressor. The blades rotate around the central axis at a rotational speed of 14043 rpm.

Therefore, to simulate the present model, the Frame Motion technique with the mentioned rotational speed has been used to simulate the airflow in the space around the compressor blades, so that the blades are assumed to be fixed (without rotational speed), and the air around the blades has a rotational speed equal to the rotational speed of the compressor rotor. Also, for the compressor blade wall, the boundary condition of the moving wall with zero rotational speed has been used compared to the surrounding area. Since the compressor nature is based on the pressure increase of the fluid, the pressure boundary condition at the inlet and outlet of the compressor has been used for proper simulation.

In addition, the mass flow rate of the air passing through the compressor is 33.25 kg / s. The purpose of this project (paper) is to investigate the behavior of airflow and the pressure distribution around the blades after compression by the compressor.

Axial Flow Compressor Geometry & Mesh

The present 3-D model is drawn using SOLIDWORKS software and then imported into the Design Modeler software. The geometric structure of the model consists of a cylindrical space for rotating airflow and a row of blades with a certain angle of curvature around the central rotor. The figure below shows a view of the geometry.


The meshing of the present model has been done using ANSYS Meshing software. The mesh type is unstructured and the element number is 278162. The size of the grids in the area adjacent to the blades is smaller and more accurate. The following figure shows the mesh.


Axial Flow Compressor CFD Simulation

To simulate the present model, several assumptions are considered, which are:

  • The Density-Based solver is performed because the fluid used in the model is air, which has significant compressibility, and on the other hand, the goal of the present problem is to compress the airflow.
  • Simulation has been performed in both fluid and thermal states (heat transfer).
  • The simulation is steady.
  • The effect of gravity on the fluid is not considered.

The following is a summary of the steps for defining a problem and its solution:

Models (axial flow compressor)
k-epsilonViscous model
RNGk-epsilon model
enhanced wall treatmentnear-wall tratment
Boundary conditions (axial flow compressor)
pressure inletInlet
0 atmgauge pressure
300 Ktotal temperature
0 atmgauge pressure
33.25 kg.s-1target mass flow
moving wallblades
0 rpmrotational speed
 0 W.m-2heat flux
Solution Methods (axial flow compressor)
Implicit Solution methods
first order upwindflowSpatial discretization
first order upwindturbulent kinetic energy
first order upwindturbulent dissipation rate
Initialization (axial flow compressor)
StandardInitialization method
0 atmgauge pressure
0 m.s-1velocity (x,y,z)
300 Ktemperature


After the solution process, we obtain the two-dimensional and three-dimensional contours related to pressure, temperature, velocity, and density, as well as the two-dimensional and three-dimensional pathlines and velocity vectors in the area for airflow around the compressor blades. We obtain the two-dimensional contours and pathlines in the YZ section perpendicular to the direction of the compressor axis and in the position of the passage passing through the middle of the blades. Also, we present pressure, temperature and heat transfer coefficients on the body of the compressor blades.

All files, including Geometry, Mesh, Case & Data, are available in Simulation File. By the way, Training File presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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