Surge-Induced Structural Loads in Gas Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
R. S. Mazzawy

Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Group, East Hartford, Conn.

J. Eng. Power 102(1), 162-168 (Jan 01, 1980) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3230217 History: Received December 18, 1978; Online September 28, 2009


The axial flow compression system of a modern gas turbine engine normally delivers a large quantity of airflow at relatively high velocity. The sudden stoppage (and reversal) of this flow when an engine surges can result in structural loads in excess of steady state levels. These loads can be quite complex due to inherent asymmetry in the surge event. The increasing requirements for lighter weight engine structures, coupled with the higher pressure ratio cycles required for minimizing fuel consumption, make the accurate prediction of these loads an important part of the engine design process. This paper is aimed toward explaining the fluid mechanics of the surge phenomenon and its impact on engine structures. It offers relatively simple models for estimating surge-induced loads on various engine components. The basis for these models is an empirical correlation of surge-induced inlet overpressure based on engine pressure ratio and bypass ratio. An approximate estimate of the post-surge axial pressure distribution can be derived from this correlation by assuming that surge initiation occurs in the rear of the compression system.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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