Propeller driven-engines operate efficiently at low speeds, and ground maneuvers, but its performance is affected by operating in unsuitable environment. Actually, it is susceptible to encounter many physical problems such as erosion, corrosion, foreign object damage, and icing. These problems not only cause changes in air path boundaries but also yield changes in the aerodynamic performance of the engine components due to the change of the propeller profile shape and increase in the overall surface roughness.
This work aims to study the effect of the particle initial velocity on the propeller erosion phenomena and the subsequent deterioration for the blades profile. Particle trajectory, erosion rate, frequency and the critical erosion area on the blade are the main issues under investigation.
The domain selected for computational study is a periodic sector through the propeller bounding and the boundary conditions are set corresponding to that exist in the propeller manuals. A three dimensional unstructured grid was generated and adopted using commercial turbomachinery grid generator GAMBIT software. The governing equations are solved using FLUENT6.3.26 a commercial CFD code, which uses a control volume approach on a grid over the computational domain. A Lagrangian-formulated particle equation of motion is added to predict particle velocity and trajectories once the air flow field is obtained.