A study on the effects of the axial gap between stator and rotor upon the stage performance and flow field of a single axial flow turbine stage is presented in this paper. Three axial gaps were tested, which were achieved by moving the stator vane in the axial direction while keeping the disk cavity constant. The effect of the axial gap was investigated at two different conditions, that is design and off-design conditions. The unsteady three-dimensional flow field was analyzed by time-accurate RANS (Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes) simulations. The simulation results were compared with the experiments, in which total pressure and the time-averaged flow field upstream and downstream of the rotor were obtained by five-hole probe measurements. The effect of the axial gap was confirmed in the endwall regions, and obtained relatively at off-design condition. The turbine stage efficiency was improved almost linearly by reducing the axial gap at the off-design condition.

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