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research-article

Importance of Surface Curvature in Modelling Droplet Impingement on Fan Blades

[+] Author and Article Information
Charles B. Burson-Thomas

National Centre for Advanced Tribology (nCATS), University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
c.bursonthomas@soton.ac.uk

Richard Wellman

Surface Engineering, Rolls-Royce plc., Derby, DE24 8BJ, United Kingdom
Richard.Wellman@Rolls-Royce.com

Terry Harvey

National Centre for Advanced Tribology (nCATS), University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
T.J.Harvey@soton.ac.uk

Robert Wood

National Centre for Advanced Tribology (nCATS), University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
r.wood@soton.ac.uk

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041149 History: Received June 29, 2018; Revised July 23, 2018

Abstract

When modelling a droplet impingement, it is reasonable to assume a surface is flat when the radius of curvature of the surface is significantly larger than the droplet radius. In other contexts where Water Droplet Erosion (WDE) has been investigated, the typical droplet size has either been sufficiently small, or the radius of curvature of the surface sufficiently large, that it has been sensible to make this assumption. The equations describing the kinematics of an impinging water droplet on a flat surface were reformulated for a curved surface. The results suggest the relatively similar radii of curvature, of the leading-edge of a fan blade and the impinging water droplet, will significantly affect the application of the initial high-pressures, along with the onset of lateral outflow jetting. Jetting is predicted to commence substantially sooner and not in unison along the contact periphery, leading to an asymmetric flow stage. This is likely to have significant implications for the WDE that occurs, and thus, the engineering approaches to minimise the WDE of fan blades.

Rolls-Royce plc
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