501-K34 marine gas turbine engines serve as auxiliary power sources for the U.S. Navy’s DDG-51 Class. It is desired that 501-K34 marine gas turbine engines have a mean time between removal of 20K hours. While some engines have approached this goal, others have fallen significantly short. A primary reason for this shortfall is hot corrosion (Type I and Type II) damage in the turbine area (more specifically the first row turbine hardware) due to both intrusion of salts from the marine air and from sulfur in the gas turbine combustion fuel. The Navy’s technical community recognizes that engine corrosion problems are complex in nature and are often tied to the design of the overall system. For this reason, two working groups were formed. One group focuses on the overall ship system design and operation, including the inlet and fuel systems. The second, the corrosion issues working group, will review the design and performance of the turbine itself and develop sound, practical, economical, and executable changes to engine design that will make it more robust and durable in the shipboard operating environment. Metallographic examination of unfailed blades removed from a marine gas turbine engine with 18000 operating hours showed that the coating thickness under the platform and in the curved area of transition between the platform to the blade stem was either very thin, or in a few cases, non-existent on each unfailed blade. Type II hot corrosion was evident at these locations under the platform. It was also observed that this corrosion under the platform led to corrosion fatigue cracking of first stage turbine blades due to poor coating quality (high porosity and variable thickness). Corrosion fatigue cracks initiated at several hot corrosion sites and had advanced through the stems to varying degrees. Cracking in a few blades had advanced to the point that would have led to premature blade failure. Low velocity, atmospheric-pressure burner-rig (LVBR) tests were conducted for 1000 hours to evaluate several alternative high-temperature coatings in both Type I and Type II hot corrosion environments. The objectives of this paper are to: (1) report the results of the hot corrosion performance of alternative high temperature coating systems for under the platform of the 1st stage blade of 501-K34 gas turbine engine, (2) compare the performance of these alternative coating systems to the current baseline 1st stage blade coating, and (3) down select the best performing coating systems (in terms of their LVBR hot corrosion and thermal cycling resistance) to implement on future 501-K34 first stage blades for the Fleet.

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