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UK Research and Innovations (2021)

Impact of Sand and Dust on Jet Engines

Sand Dust Engine

Titre : Impact of Sand and Dust on Jet Engines

Pays/Région : Sand and dust from arid regions

Durée : janv. 21 - déc. 23

Référence projet : 2509354
Catégorie : Studentship

Résumé partiel
Sand and dust from arid regions are increasingly a problem for aircraft gas turbine engines, both military and civil. The ingested mineral particles cause a number of different damage mechanisms, some of which accelerate the loss of engine efficiency, causing increased fuel burn, and a substantial reduction in component life, requiring early and expensive removal of engines for repair. The primary damage mechanisms affecting performance are erosion in high speed compressors and deposit buildup on turbine aerofoils. The primary damage mechanisms affecting component life (in the combustor and turbines) are corrosion-fatigue of nickel super alloys (when combined with atmospheric sulphur and NaCl), and CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2 (CMAS) damage to ceramic thermal barrier coatings and blockage of intricate cooling systems. The financial impact of these problems on companies like Rolls-Royce is running into multiple billions of pounds. Rolls-Royce’s business model depends on understanding the rate of engine performance and component life deterioration so the company can set the service charge rate correctly, and ultimately find design solutions to mitigate the damage. Rolls-Royce makes the bulk of its income from service - or power-by-the-hour - contracts with airlines. Charging airlines that regularly operate in sandy and dusty environments an appropriate hourly rate is vital to the Company’s viability.

Substantial scientific work is being undertaken by both Rolls-Royce and The University of Manchester to better understand the composition and physical characteristics of atmospheric sand and dust along frequently used flight routes. This is because it is the composition and physical characteristics of sand and dust that drive the various damage mechanisms. However, our recent research has revealed that it is not sufficient to only understand the composition and nature of dust in the atmosphere because the chemical and mineral composition, physical characteristics and particle size distribution changes as sand and dust travels through a gas turbine engine. This ICASE project will focus on understanding the processes driving the changes in the sand and dust as it travels through a gas turbine engine intake, compression system and secondary air system before it gets to the damage sites in the combustor and turbines.

Lead Research Organisation : University of Manchester

Financement : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

UK Research and Innovations

Page publiée le 31 août 2022, mise à jour le 2 septembre 2022