Abstract

In a recent investigation of external fuel leaks from an aerospace pressure control valve, cavitation damages were discovered in a small deadheaded cavity, which was created by the axial clearance between the mating subcomponents. Experiments using high bandwidth pressure sensors showed that there were severe pressure fluctuations in the cavity and that the pressure repeatedly fell below the local vapor pressure of the fuel, which would cause cavitation. Spectral analyses showed resonance-like amplification of flow ripple in the valve surrounding inside the valve cavity. The apparent resonance frequency matched the computed fundamental Helmholtz resonance frequency of the cavity. These findings led to a venting solution of the deadheaded cavity by placing an appropriately sized through hole. Back-to-back testing with unvented valves showed stark improvements of the vented solution. This paper presents test and analytical data on the formation of a Helmholtz resonator in the small deadhead cavity of a gas turbine fuel delivery system component. This paper also demonstrates the validity of simple engineering formulas widely available in acoustics literature for predicting the Helmholtz resonance frequencies as a function of neck geometry, neck arrangement, and fuel properties.

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