Accelerating the implementation of double wall cooling technology in high pressure turbine blades
PI: Ireland, Peter
Department: Engineering Science (DF)
The drive for increased jet engine efficiency, both for reduced CO2 emissions and for the increased range required for alternative fuels, drives up the turbine inlet temperatures. The temperatures now exceed the melting point of the materials used so are required to be actively cooled. The theoretical optimum cooling solution is transpiration cooling but traditional cooling schemes are yet to achieve this performance. During the program grant significant developments have been made on double wall cooling schemes. Double wall schemes aim to simulate a transpiration cooling wall by combining multiple cooling techniques at a micro scale. Mr Coulton's work during his studies have shown a potential reduction of 50% in coolant required for the same performance when compared to traditional cooling schemes. This translates to higher efficiency reducing CO2 emissions per flight and increased range. To date, the applicant has researched, designed and built a facility known as the High Temperature Linear Cascade (HTLC) that tests single blades. During the applicant's doctoral studies, it has not been possible to demonstrate this facility to industry. Demonstration of HTLC to Rolls Royce and the High Temperature Research Centre (HTRC) at Coventry would verify research work carried out during the DPhil and industry would benefit from testing its blades manufactured by the HTRC. Ben's facility is unique. It is the only facility in the world that is capable of testing a single blade. Current practice in industry is carried out on sub-sections using multiple blades which is both costly and time consuming creating impractical barriers to production. The impact to industry has great potential since testing single blades on the HTLC reduces cost and time as it generates verification cheaper and faster. This project would build on existing collaborations, develop Ben's unique facility and support the double wall technology to be matured to a higher TRL accelerating its adoption.