Threats to engine integrity and life from deposition of environmental particulates that can reach the turbine cooling systems (i.e. <10 micron) have become increasing important within the aero-engine industry, with an increase of flight paths crossing sandy, tropical storm-infested, or polluted airspaces. This has led to studies in the turbomachinery community investigating environmental particulate deposition, largely applying the Discrete Random Walk (DRW) model in CFD simulations of air paths. However, this model was conceived to model droplet dispersion in bulk flow regimes, and therefore has fundamental limitations for deposition studies. One significant limitation is an insensitivity to particle size in the turbulent deposition size regime, where deposition is strongly linked to particle size. This is highlighted within this study through comparisons to published experimental data.
Progress made within the wider particulate deposition community has recently led to the development and application of the Continuous Random Walk (CRW) model. This new model provides significantly improved predictions of particle deposition seen experimentally in comparison to the DRW for low temperature pipe flow experiments. However, the CRW model is not without its difficulties. This paper highlights the sensitivities within the CRW model and actions taken to alleviate them where possible. For validation of the model at gas turbine conditions, it should be assessed at engine-representative conditions. These include high-temperature and swirling flows, with thermophoretic and wall-roughness effects. Thermophoresis is a particle force experienced in the negative direction of the temperature gradient, and can strongly effect deposition efficiency from certain flows. Previous validation of the model has centred on low temperatures and pipe flow conditions. Presented here is the validation process which is currently being undertaken to assess the model at gas turbine-relevant conditions. Discussion centres on the underlying principles of the model, how to apply this model appropriately to gas turbine flows and initial assessment for flows seen in secondary air systems. Verification of model assumptions is undertaken, including demonstrating that the effect of boundary layer modelling of anisotropic turbulence is shown to be Reynolds-independent. The integration time step for numerical solution of the non-dimensional Langevin equation is redefined, showing improvement against existing definitions for the available low temperature pipe flow data. The grid dependence of particle deposition in numerical simulations is presented and shown to be more significant for particle conditions in the diffusional deposition regime. Finally, the model is applied to an engine-representative geometry to demonstrate the improvement in sensitivity to particle size that the CRW offers over the DRW for wall-bounded flows.