Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Aircraft Engine

Understanding Ice Crystal Accretion and Shedding Phenomenon in Jet Engines Using a Rig Test

[+] Author and Article Information
Jeanne G. Mason, Philip Chow

 Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Seattle, WA 98101

Dan M. Fuleki

Gas Turbine Laboratory, Institute for Aerospace Research, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0R6, Canada

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 133(4), 041201 (Nov 19, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002020 History: Received April 19, 2010; Revised May 10, 2010; Published November 19, 2010; Online November 19, 2010

The aviation industry has now connected a number of engine power-loss events to the ingestion of atmospheric ice crystals. Ice crystals are believed to penetrate to and eventually accrete on surfaces in the engine core where local air temperatures are warmer than freezing. Research aimed at understanding the accretion and shedding of ice crystals within the engine is being conducted industrywide. Although this specific icing condition is readily produced inside an operating engine, rig testing is the preferred research tool because it has the advantage of good visibility of the ice accretion process and easy access for video documentation. This paper presents one of the first efforts to simulate the warm air/cold ice conditions occurring inside the engine core using a test rig. The test section contains geometry simulating the transition duct between the low and high compressors in a typical jet engine and an airfoil simulating the engine strut connecting the inner and outer surfaces. Test results showed ice formed on the airfoil and other surfaces in the test section at air temperatures warmer than freezing. However, when both the air and surface temperatures were held below freezing, the injected ice did not melt and no ice accretion was observed. Ice only formed on the airfoil when mixed-phase conditions (liquid and ice) were produced, by introducing the ice into a warm airflow. This test concludes that a rig-level ice crystal icing test is feasible and capable of producing ice accretion in a simulated engine environment. As it was the first test of its kind, reporting of these preliminary test results are expected to benefit future experimenters.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Ice crystal test apparatus installed in the National Research Council of Canada research altitude test facility

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Figure 2

Examples of particle morphology for a range of particle sizes

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Figure 3

Side and inlet views of the compressor transition duct test section shown with 10 deg angle of attack airfoil installed

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Figure 4

Control test point 455 (cold air, warm surface)

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Figure 5

Test point 443 right side view after 5 min

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Figure 6

Test point 443 left side view after 5 min

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Figure 7

Test point 444 right side after 5 min

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Figure 8

Test point 444 left side after 5 min

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Figure 9

Test point 439—too much liquid—little ice

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Figure 10

Test point 440 after 3 min, during second build and shed cycle

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Figure 11

Test point 447 IWCi=0.7

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Figure 12

Test point 441 IWCi=1.8

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Figure 13

Test point 443 IWCi=3.6

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Figure 14

Example of airfoil leading edge 10% span thermocouple response after ice gun turned on

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Figure 15

Example of airfoil leading edge 10% span thermocouple response during shed event



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