Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

Novel Test Facility for Investigation of the Impact of Thermally Induced Stress Gradients on Fatigue Life of Cooled Gas Turbine Components

[+] Author and Article Information
Marcus Thiele

Institute of Power Engineering,
Chair of Thermal Power Machinery and Plants,
Technische Universität Dresden,
Dresden 01062, Germany
e-mail: marcus.thiele@tu-dresden.de

Uwe Gampe

Institute of Power Engineering,
Chair of Thermal Power Machinery and Plants,
Technische Universität Dresden,
Dresden 01062, Germany
e-mail: uwe.gampe@tu-dresden.de

Kathrin A. Fischer

Berlin AG 10553, Germany
e-mail: kathrin-anita.fischer@siemens.com

Contributed by the Structures and Dynamics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 12, 2018; final manuscript received July 18, 2018; published online October 4, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(3), 032502 (Oct 04, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1482; doi: 10.1115/1.4041129 History: Received July 12, 2018; Revised July 18, 2018

A novel test facility has been designed and setup for the investigation of the influence of stationary temperature, and thus thermally induced stress gradients with respect to the damage evolution of cooled gas turbine components. Thermally induced stress gradients differ from geometrically induced stress gradients. From the point of view of stress mechanics, they are independent from external loads. From the perspective of material mechanics, their impact on service life is influenced by locally different material properties and strength. However, the impact of thermally induced stress gradients on the cyclic life of high loaded, cooled components is not precisely known. In order to increase knowledge surrounding these mechanisms, a research project was launched. To achieve high temperature gradients and extended mechanical stress gradients, large heat fluxes are required. The authors developed a test bench with a unique radiant heating to achieve very high heat fluxes of q˙ ≥ 1.6 MW/m2 on cylindrical specimen. Special emphasis has been placed on homogenous temperature and loading conditions in order to achieve valid test results comparable to standard low-cycle or thermo-mechanical fatigue tests. Different test concepts of the literature were reviewed and the superior performance of the new test rig concept was demonstrated. The austenitic stainless steel 316 L was chosen as the model material for commissioning and validation of the test facility. The investigation of thermally induced stress gradients and, based on this analysis, low-cycle fatigue (LCF) tests with superimposed temperature gradients were conducted. Linear elastic finite element studies were performed to calculate the local stress–strain field and the service life of the test specimens. The test results show a considerable influence of the temperature gradient on the LCF life of the investigated material. Both the temperature variation over the specimen wall and thermally induced stresses (TIS) are stated to be the main drivers for the change in LCF life. The test results increase the understanding of fatigue damage mechanisms under local unsteady conditions and can serve as a basis for improved lifetime calculation methods.

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Fig. 1

Schematic representation of isothermal and thermal stress gradients at hollow cylinders: (a) isothermal stress gradients of a hollow cylinder under tension and (b) thermal induced stress gradients of a cooled hollow cylinder

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Fig. 2

Yield and tensile strength for a nickel-base superalloy and austenitic stainless steel [1,2]

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Fig. 3

Dependency of convective heat flux for transverse flow around a cylinder (TGas = 1300 °C; da= 16 mm) in hot gas test rigs

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Fig. 4

Temperature distribution in the cross section of a hollow TBC-coated specimen subjected to inductive heating and surface heating with identical heat flux on the inner surface

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Fig. 5

Section view of the patented test rig concept [24]: circumferentially arranged reflectors around specimen

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Fig. 6

Influence of eccentricity on total efficiency of the radiation furnace parameter variation

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Fig. 7

(a) CFD results of cooling air flow inside a hollow specimen to achieve a homogenous surface temperature, (b) insert for low thermal gradients, and (c) temperature and axial stress distribution on the outer surface

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Fig. 8

Measured heat flux versus electrical power output of the heating and resultant calculated thermal gradient of two example materials

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Fig. 9

Local heat-flux distribution measured with water-cooled hollow test cylinder in comparisons to calculations

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Fig. 10

Calculated maximum thermal gradients for different types of material and thermally induced maximum axial stresses for a hollow cylinder with an outer diameter of 16 mm and a wall thickness of 3 mm

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Fig. 11

Schematic representation of the LCF specimen

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Fig. 12

Isothermal LCF results at T = 20 °C of 316 L observed with the test rig with hollow and standard specimen as well as varied surface conditions [2]

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Fig. 13

Isothermal LCF results of 316 L at elevated temperatures [2]

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Fig. 14

Results of first two LCF tests with superimposed thermal gradient compared to the scatter of the literature data

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Fig. 15

Crack surface of TGMF test with thermal gradient of dT/dx = 45 K/mm

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Fig. 16

SEM images of specimen tested with thermal gradient of dT/dx = 45 K/mm with varying secondary crack lengths on the inner and outer surface that are indicative of variation of damage mechanisms: (a) Schematic sample position, (b) Cross-section view, (c) Crack depth on inner surface, and (d) Crack depth on outer surface



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