A numerical evaluation of the effects of volcanic ash ingestion in a turbofan engine was carried out, with particular regard to the prediction of the erosion damage to fan blades. The ash concentration level examined in the study was below the flight limit because the aim of this study is to investigate the damage due to long-term exposure to low concentration levels. The work aims to the implementation of a numerical methodology that takes into account the geometry change of the fan blades during the exposure to volcanic ash. A dimensional and morphological characterization of a real volcanic ash sample from the Mount Etna volcano has been performed to model the particle flow dynamics using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. The fan performance in terms of the total pressure increase was calculated for both the baseline and damaged geometries to quantify the performance deterioration trend with respect to the particle exposure time. For the calculation of the eroded fan performance, two different numerical approaches were considered. In the first approach, the erosion rate (ER) was evaluated based on the initial blade geometry and was held constant. In the second approach, the ER was updated as the erosion of the blade continued. The second approach shows a higher deterioration of the pressure rise across the fan, suggesting that the variation of the ER due to the blade shape modification cannot be neglected in the calculations.
Predictions of Operational Degradation of the Fan Stage of an Aircraft Engine Due to Particulate Ingestion
Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received June 23, 2014; final manuscript received July 16, 2014; published online December 2, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.
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Grazia De Giorgi, M., Campilongo, S., and Ficarella, A. (May 1, 2015). "Predictions of Operational Degradation of the Fan Stage of an Aircraft Engine Due to Particulate Ingestion." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. May 2015; 137(5): 052603. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4028769
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