The Numerical Investigation of the Effects of Sand Ingestion on Compressor Blade Erosion

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Virginia Tech


The performance of aircraft engines can be significantly affected by the variety of foreign particles that are mixed into the air while operating under miscellaneous conditions. In particular, aircraft engines that operate in sandy or dusty conditions may fail within minutes of exposure to particle-laden flow due to foreign particle deposition on hot section components or erosion occurring on the compressor and turbine blades. For these reasons, the effect of sand ingestion on erosion, which may occur in the turbine and compressor blades, was studied in this master's thesis. In this master's thesis, the effect of sand ingestion on erosion on the M250 turboshaft engine's compressor blades will be investigated with the aid of numerical methods. In this study, we used the OpenFOAM software to solve the multiphase flow problem from the standpoint of finite control methods and the Eulerian-Lagrangian framework. The initial sand distribution conditions were taken from the Ph.D. thesis written by Olshefski, K. T. (2023) [1]. The compressor blade was modeled as 2D, which has a NACA 6510 profile shape, with a chord length of 63 mm. The results show that the leading edge and the suction side of the compressor, i.e. the upper half of the compressor, eroded more compared to the trailing edge, and the pressure side. Results also show that as the sand particle distribution becomes non-uniform the most eroded region shifts toward the trailing edge. In addition, for varying angles of attack, the region where the erosion occurs alters periodically. We observed that as the angle of attack increases, the eroded region shifts toward the trailing edge, but when the angle of attack is kept increasing the eroded region shifts back to the leading edge again. In conclusion, the non-uniformity of sand particle loading has a strong effect on the determination of the eroded regions. Furthermore, the variation of the angle of attack has a huge role in both the determination of eroded regions and the amount of eroded material.

multiphase flow, compressor blade erosion, sand ingestion, numerical methods