Flows in turbine engine oil sumps

Budi W Chandra, Purdue University


The oil and air flows in bearing chambers can influence the performance and capabilities of turbine engines, the maintenance requirements, and the maintenance schedule. Unfortunately, little research effort has been dedicated to the flow physics inside gas turbine bearing chambers. One major issue concerning bearing chambers is poor drainage. Poor drainage can be caused by leaky seals or ill-designed sumps. Poor drainage can reduce the effectiveness and lifetime of the cooling oil that is injected into the chamber. This research addresses the issue by conducting various experiments on sump designs. The experiments include identifying the flow physics, minor changes to the design to improve performance, and a major change to the design to address issues that cannot be satisfied by the minor modifications. A flow rig that can accommodate various sump designs has been built. A new advanced sump has been built with features to address various issues with the old standard sump design. Early tests showed that the advanced sump design performs better than the old sump. Additional experiments, design modifications, and validations were conducted to further improve the new design.




Collicott, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Aerospace materials|Mechanical engineering

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