Over the years it has been speculated that the performance of multi-stage axial flow compressors is enhanced by the passage of a wake through a blade row prior to being mixed-out by viscous diffusion. The link between wake mixing and performance depends on the ability to recover the total pressure deficit of a wake by a reversible flow process. This paper shows that such a process exists, it is unsteady, and is associated with the kinematics of the wake vorticity field. The analysis shows that the benefits of wake total pressure recovery can be estimated from linear theory and quantified in terms of a volume integral involving the deterministic stress and the mean strain rate. In the limit of large reduced frequency the recovery process is shown to be a direct function of blade circulation. Results are presented which show that the recovery process can reduce the wake mixing loss by as much as seventy percent. Under certain circumstances this can lead to nearly a point improvement in stage efficiency, a nontrivial amount.

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