This paper shows how to use discrete CFD and FEM adjoint surface sensitivities to derive objective-based tolerances for turbine blades, instead of relying on geometric tolerances. For this purpose a multidisciplinary adjoint evaluation tool chain is introduced to quantify the effect of real manufacturing imperfections on aerodynamic efficiency and probabilistic low cycle fatigue life time.

Before the adjoint method is applied, a numerical validation of the CFD and FEM adjoint gradients is performed using 102 heavy duty turbine vane scans. The results show that the relative error for adjoint CFD gradients is below 0.5%, while the FEM life time gradient relative errors are below 5%. The adjoint assessment tool chain further reduces the computational cost by around 85% for the investigated test case compared to non-linear methods.

Through the application of the presented tool chain, the definition of specified objective-based tolerances becomes available as a design assessment tool and allows to improve overall turbine efficiency and the accuracy of life time prediction.

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