Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

Predictions of Operational Degradation of the Fan Stage of an Aircraft Engine Due to Particulate Ingestion

[+] Author and Article Information
Maria Grazia De Giorgi

Department of Engineering for Innovation,
University of Salento,
Via Per Monteroni,
Lecce 73100, Italy
e-mail: mariagrazia.degiorgi@unisalento.it

Stefano Campilongo

Department of Engineering for Innovation,
University of Salento,
Via Per Monteroni,
Lecce 73100, Italy
e-mail: stefano.campilongo@unisalento.it

Antonio Ficarella

Department of Engineering for Innovation,
University of Salento,
Via Per Monteroni,
Lecce 73100, Italy
e-mail: antonio.ficarella@unisalento.it

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received June 23, 2014; final manuscript received July 16, 2014; published online December 2, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 137(5), 052603 (May 01, 2015) (15 pages) Paper No: GTP-14-1301; doi: 10.1115/1.4028769 History: Received June 23, 2014; Revised July 16, 2014; Online December 02, 2014

A numerical evaluation of the effects of volcanic ash ingestion in a turbofan engine was carried out, with particular regard to the prediction of the erosion damage to fan blades. The ash concentration level examined in the study was below the flight limit because the aim of this study is to investigate the damage due to long-term exposure to low concentration levels. The work aims to the implementation of a numerical methodology that takes into account the geometry change of the fan blades during the exposure to volcanic ash. A dimensional and morphological characterization of a real volcanic ash sample from the Mount Etna volcano has been performed to model the particle flow dynamics using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. The fan performance in terms of the total pressure increase was calculated for both the baseline and damaged geometries to quantify the performance deterioration trend with respect to the particle exposure time. For the calculation of the eroded fan performance, two different numerical approaches were considered. In the first approach, the erosion rate (ER) was evaluated based on the initial blade geometry and was held constant. In the second approach, the ER was updated as the erosion of the blade continued. The second approach shows a higher deterioration of the pressure rise across the fan, suggesting that the variation of the ER due to the blade shape modification cannot be neglected in the calculations.

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Fig. 1

Volcanic ash sample size distribution

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Fig. 2

Electron microscopy SEM image of the sample

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Fig. 3

Elbow computational grid

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Fig. 4

Comparison between numerical predictions (CFD) and experimental data (EXP) [37]

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Fig. 5

NASA Rotor 67 grid of the hub and blade walls

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Fig. 10

ER on suction side, tip, and pressure side

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Fig. 12

Eroded blades as predicted by the first (up) and the second (bottom) calculation

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Fig. 13

Erosion depth at different spanwise distance from the hub for the first calculation approach after 700 h (LE = leading edge and TE = trailing edge)

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Fig. 6

Comparison between numerical predictions (CFD) and experimental data (EXP) of the total pressure ratio across the fan

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Fig. 7

Comparison between numerical predictions (right) and experimental data (left) of relative Mach number at 90% (up) and 30% (bottom) spanwise distance from the hub

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Fig. 8

Total number of computed particles trajectories

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Fig. 9

Particle tracks around the blades

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Fig. 11

ER trend for the second calculation approach, mean and maximum values on pressure and suction sides

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Fig. 14

Erosion depth at different spanwise distance from the hub for the second calculation approach after 700 h (LE = leading edge and TE = trailing edge)

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Fig. 16

Total pressure contours at 50% spanwise distance from the hub for: (a) baseline geometry; eroded geometry with the first (b) and the second (c) calculation

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Fig. 17

Total pressure contour at 90% spanwise distance from the hub for: (a) baseline geometry; eroded geometry with the first (b) and the second (c) calculation

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Fig. 18

Velocity magnitude contours at 90% spanwise for: (a) baseline geometry; eroded geometry with the first (b) and the second (c) calculation approach

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Fig. 19

Comparison of spanwise distribution of the total pressure rise at the rotor

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Fig. 20

Comparison between total pressure ratio at the outlet for all the considered approaches

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Fig. 15

Static pressure contour on the pressure side for: (a) baseline geometry, eroded geometry with the first (b), and the second (c) calculation




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