Ceramic matrix composite (CMC) have higher temperature durability and lower density property compared to nickel-based super-alloys which so far have been widely applied to hot section components of aero-engines / gas turbines. One of promising CMC systems, SiC-SiC CMC is able to sustain its mechanical property at higher temperature, though it inherently needs environmental barrier coating (EBC) to avoid oxidation. There are several requirements for EBC. One of such critical requirements is its resistance to particle erosion, whereas this subject hasn’t been well investigated in the past.

The present work presents the results of a combined experimental and numerical research to evaluate the erosion characteristics of CMC+EBC material developed by IHI.

First, experiments were carried out in an erosion test facility using 50 micron diameter silica as erosion media under typical engine conditions with velocity of 225 m/s, temperature of 1311 K, and impingement angles of 30, 60, and 80deg. The data displayed brittle erosion mode in that the erosion rate increased with impact angles.

Next, multi-phase flow simulations were carried out for the experimental setup and the predicted erosion rates were compared with the measured data, and consequently, the applied numerical method was verified.

The validated numerical method was then applied to compute three dimensional flow field, particle trajectories, and erosion profile around a generic turbine airfoil to assess the erosion characteristics of the proposed CMC+EBC material when applied to airfoil. The trajectories indicated that the particles primarily impacted the airfoil leading edge and the pressure surface. Surface erosion patterns were predicted based on the calculated trajectories and the experimentally-based erosion characteristics.

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