Particle Deposition in Turbomachinery

Particles such as ice crystals, sand, volcanic ash and salt entrained in the atmosphere can enter the core of aero-engines and power generation gas turbines. On civil engines, most particulates are spun out, however, small particles can make their way through the engine, eventually depositing causing a variety of detrimental effects including: reduced flow rates in the main flow path; erosion of component surface; reduced cooling flow rates which can reduce life of components; corrosive attacks leading to cracking of components; cause significant damage and possibly stall if large accretions are shed.

Indicative world map showing atmospheric particulates
Indicative world map showing atmospheric particulates

With the steady growth of the number of flights in south-east Asia, the Middle East and South America where atmospheric particulates are likely to be encountered this is becoming a larger issue for the aero industry. To understand and model the behavior of deposition process, the group is using a combined experimental and numerical approach to investigate the complex physics involved.