An important issue in the use of coal- or biomass-derived synthetic gaseous (syngas) fuels is the deposition of contaminants on film cooled turbine surfaces, which alter cooling and aerodynamic performance and increase material degradation. The current study applied a new experimental technique that simulated the key physical aspects of contaminant deposition on a film cooled turbine vane. The depositing contaminants were modeled in a wind tunnel facility with a spray of molten wax droplets of a size range that matched the Stokes number of the contaminant particles in engine conditions. Most experiments were performed using a vane model with a thermal conductivity selected such that the model had the same Biot number of an actual engine airfoil, resulting in a cooler surface temperature. Some experiments were performed using an approximately adiabatic model for comparison. The film cooling design consisted of three rows of showerhead cooling at the leading edge and one row of body film cooling holes on the pressure side. Two designs of pressure side body film cooling holes were considered: a standard design of straight, cylindrical holes and an advanced design of “trenched” cooling holes in which the hole exits were situated in a recessed, transverse trench. The results showed thin deposits formed in the trench, with the thickest deposits on its downstream wall between coolant jets. Adiabatic film effectiveness levels were essentially unchanged by the presence of deposits for either film configuration. Deposit formation was strongly influenced by the model surface temperature with cooler surfaces inhibiting deposition. There was evidence of a threshold surface temperature above which deposits became significantly thicker.

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