State-of-the-art axial compressors of gas turbines employed in power generation plants and aero engines should have both high efficiency and small footprint. Thus, in many cases, axial compressors are designed to have thin rotor blades and stator vanes with short axial distances, and are driven at high rotational speed. Recently, problems of high cycle fatigue (HCF) associated with forced response excitation have gradually increased as a result of these trends. Rotor blade fatigue can be caused not only by the wake and potential effect of the adjacent stator vane, but also by the stator vanes of two, three or four compressor stages away. Thus, accurate prediction and suppression method of them under the resonance condition are necessary in the design process. Concerning the forced response excitation associated with the adjacent stator vanes, there are many previous studies on simulating the vibration by fluid structure interaction (FSI) simulation. In these studies, the aerodynamic force acting on the blade is simulated by an efficient unsteady computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method such as the nonlinear harmonic (NLH) method. These methods can be available in commercial CFD solvers and can significantly reduce computational cost. However, there are few examples of the problems associated with the stator vanes from two and three compressor stages away and no efficient simulation method is available. In this study, the problem of rotor blade vibration caused by the stator vanes of two and three compressor stages away is studied. Ways to accurately predict and effectively control the vibration are also investigated.
In the first part of the study, one-way FSI simulation is carried out using a full annulus CFD model. To validate the accuracy of the simulation, experiments are also conducted using a gas turbine test facility. The vibration level of the blade is measured using a blade tip timing (BTT) measurement system and the obtained results are compared with the simulated data. It is found that one-way FSI simulation can accurately predict the order of the vibration level.
In the second part of the study, a method of controlling the forced response excitation is investigated by optimizing the clocking of the stator vanes. It is confirmed that by controlling the clocking of the stator vanes, the vibration amplitude can be effectively suppressed without reducing the compressor performance.
Through this study, ways to evaluate and control the unsteady pressure force and vibration response of the rotor blade are validated. By optimizing the clocking of stator vanes, the blade vibration level can be effectively reduced.