Computational investigations of axial and radial flow compressor aeromechanics

Kishore Ramakrishnan, Purdue University


The focus of this research is aeromechanics issues in advanced compressors of the type used in modern day high thrust-to-weight ratio aircraft gas turbine engines. The driving factor for the studies undertaken is the High Cycle Fatigue (HCF) failure of gas turbine blades. HCF is a key technology issue in the development and endurance of gas turbine engines that arises primarily due to resonant response of turbomachine blading to unsteady aerodynamic excitation. Because it is a truly coupled nonlinear fluid-structure problem, predicting HCF requires a unified approach to modeling both the fluid and the structure. Considering the serious nature of HCF and the inadequacy of lower order design systems to accurately predict blade vibratory stress, the need to develop advanced predictive tools is pressing. The first aspect of this research therefore addresses the development of a turbomachinery coupled fluid-structure interaction tool to predict flow-induced blade vibration. To this end, the TAM-ALE3D solver is further developed as a derivative of the ALE3D code of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In the second aspect of this research, TAM-ALE3D is validated by predicting viscous blade row unsteady aerodynamics and the modal properties of the stator vane in the baseline configuration of the Purdue Transonic Compressor. It is then used to predict the vane vibratory response excited by rotor wakes at resonance, with the resulting stresses in the range expected. For radial flow compressors, a very limited knowledge base exists on the unsteady aerodynamic and aeroelastic mechanisms that result in HCF. The bulk of this research is thus directed at the understanding of these fundamental unsteady phenomena using TAM-ALE3D as an investigative tool. The energy transfer from the downstream diffuser generated forcing function to the impeller blading is addressed by means of unsteady aerodynamic and aeroelastic analyses. From these computational investigations, the details of the impeller blade excitation are elucidated, and promising directions for future research are identified.




Lawless, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Aerospace materials|Mechanical engineering

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