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Aerothermal Investigations on Turbine End-walls and Blades II


Today’s market for civil aircraft continuously demands lighter, cheaper, more efficient, cleaner and quieter engines. For the turbine component of a competitive future aero-engine, these requirements result in higher thermal loads in the high-pressure stage due to flatter temperature traverses at the turbine inlet as a result of new combustion concepts, and hence, the need for advanced cooling concepts. Moreover, the weight and cost requirements lead to high or ultra-high lift blade concepts for the decreasing number of parts, and to unshrouded blade concepts to decrease weight while maintaining a high efficiency level. Finally, the demand for higher by-pass ratios leads to more advanced designs of interducts (so-called aggressive) in order to shorten the axial component length.

Project objectives

Consistent with the ACARE goals, the resulting impact on turbine design and aircraft systems is referenced to the baseline of proven in-flight technology for a two-stage high-pressure turbine as of 2000. The following objectives are stated for the turbine design: 20% reduction in turbine weight, 10% reduction in coolant consumption, 1.5% increase in turbine efficiency, 50% reduction in time for detailed design with state-of-the-art CFD tools and 20% decrease in uncertainty of wall temperature prediction, thereby leading to a 20% reduction in time-to-market, a 10% reduction in cost and a 1% reduction in CO2 emissions for an entire aero-engine.

Description of the work

The project structure comprises seven Work Packages, including one devoted to project management (Work Package 7). The work in Work Package 1 focuses on aerodynamic and aerothermal investigations of high-lift technology for high and low-pressure turbines. Particular emphasis is placed on the development and testing of concepts for passive control of flow separation. Work Package 2 is targeted at the establishment of efficient cooling technologies for trailing edge cooling. Most importantly, the outcome of this work will be essential for the development of highly efficient cooling concepts for high-pressure, single stage turbines for new generation small and medium-size aero-engines. The experimental and numerical work in Work Package 3 will establish novel platform cooling approaches based on micro-hole technologies. Moreover, the aspects of passive control of secondary flows near the platform to be investigated for high-lift rotor blades will be another essential building block for the high-lift technology also investigated in Work Packages 1 and 4. The final aspects of high-lift technology to be investigated in AITEB-2 are cooling concepts for highly loaded, high-pressure turbine blades. This will be accomplished experimentally and numerically for shrouded and unshrouded blades in Work Package 4. The work in Work Package 5 is focused on aerothermal aspects of advanced (‘aggressive’) turbine interducts. The extensive tests planned include investigations of passive flow control aspects, and the development of breakthrough technology for unsteady heat transfer measurements will have a major impact on research methodologies in the aero-engine and gas turbine industry. The tool development resulting from the work in Work Package 6 will allow for tremendously decreased turn-around times in the detailed design phase with high-end CFD methods. Providing a highly improved CFD process, Work Package 6 can be seen as the basis for future investigations in all research areas of industrial interest.

Expected results

The AITEB-2 project will lead to short-term benefits in terms of lighter and more efficient turbine modules, whereas the mid-term and long-term benefits of the project will be seen in combining the results of the present project with other projects running within the Sixth Framework Programme, such as AIDA and TATEF-2. By covering both aerodynamic and aerothermal aspects of ambitious future turbine designs, the development of highly efficient, low-noise and ultra-high, by-pass ratio, commercial aero engines will be possible.