Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Mark Ricklick

First Committee Member

Dr. Magdy Attia

Second Committee Member

Dr. Laksh Narayanaswami


Gas turbine blades are often cooled using internal cooling channels to prevent failure at temperatures beyond material limitations. Pin fin channels are commonly used on the trailing edge of the blades, where they enhance heat transfer and also provide structural support. This study focuses on the validation of several commercially available RANS turbulence models in CFD, that are used to computationally simulate the flow features inside a pin fin cooling channel. Turbulence models investigates are: Menter’s kω SST, realizable k-ε, and a quadratic formulation of the realizable k-ε model. The geometry investigated is a staggered 8 row pin fin channel. Results have shown that depending on the location in the channel and Reynold’s number, the QRK-E and KO-SST models produce superior matching of heat transfer coefficients to experimental data. Comparisons have also shown that depending on Reynolds number, the RK-E and QRK-E models match pressure coefficient data the closest. An investigation of a biomimicry pin channel created using the undulations observed on seal whiskers also showed improvements in heat transfer levels and reduced pressure drops across the channel. The undulation treatment was applied to an elliptical and cylindrical pin. Preliminary results have shown that the cylindrical bio pins showed an increase in heat transfer levels with a significant reduction in pressure losses in the channel.