The overall efficiency and operational behavior of aircraft engines are influenced by the surface finish of the airfoils. During operation, the surface roughness significantly increases due to erosion and deposition processes. The aim of this study is to analyze the influence of roughness on the aerodynamics of the low-pressure turbine (LPT) of a midsized high bypass turbofan. In order to gain a better insight into the operational roughness structures, a sample of new, used, cleaned, and reworked turbine blades and vanes are measured using the confocal laser scanning microscopy technique. The measurement results show local inhomogeneities. The roughness distributions measured are then converted into their equivalent sand grain roughness to permit an evaluation of the impact on aerodynamic losses. The numerical study is performed using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-solver turbomachinery research aerodynamics computational environment (TRACE) which was validated before with the existing data from rig experiments. It is observed that the influence of the surface roughness on the turbine efficiency is significant at take-off but negligible at cruise. A detailed analysis on the aerodynamics at take-off shows that very rough airfoils lead to higher profile and secondary loss. Due to the higher disturbances present in flows circulating over rough walls, the transition occurs earlier, and the momentum thickness increases in the turbulent boundary layer. The service-induced roughness structures cause an efficiency drop in the LPT of compared to new parts. A gas path analysis showed that this results in an increased fuel flow of and an exhaust gas temperature (EGT) rise of for fixed engine pressure ratio which is equivalent to roughly 4% of the typical EGT margin of a fully refurbished engine. This result stresses the importance of roughness-induced loss in LPTs.
Surface Roughness Impact on Low-Pressure Turbine Performance Due to Operational Deterioration
Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 6, 2017; final manuscript received August 22, 2017; published online January 17, 2018. Editor: David Wisler.
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Kellersmann, A., Weiler, S., Bode, C., Friedrichs, J., Städing, J., and Ramm, G. (January 17, 2018). "Surface Roughness Impact on Low-Pressure Turbine Performance Due to Operational Deterioration." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. June 2018; 140(6): 062601. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4038246
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