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AAB30503 Gas Turbine Engine 1 – Assignment Turbine Blades

Question 1: What is a turbine blade? Define.

- A turbine blade is the individual component which makes up the turbine section of a
gas turbine engine.
- It is an airfoil-shaped blade designed to absorb the maximum amount of energy from
the flow of hot gases which are produced by the combustion chamber; and converts
it into useful work.
- The blades are either forged or cast, depending on their alloy composition.
- The turbine blades are fitted to the turbine disk loosely when an engine is cold but
they will be fit tightly during the expansion of the blades at the normal operating
temperature of turbine.
- Fir Tree slot are the most commonly used method to attaches the turbine blades to
the turbine disk rim and matching bases cast / machined into the turbine blade base.
- Turbine blade can be open / shrouded at their blade tip.

( Jeppesen A&P Technician Powerplant Textbook, Page 3-25 )

Question 2: What are the forces the turbine blades are subjected to? Explain.

- There are two forces; which is Impulse & Reaction Force.


- Impulse blades only change the direction of airflow coming from turbine nozzle with
no change of gas pressure or velocity.
- Turbine wheel simply absorbs the force required to change the direction of the
airflow and convert it to rotary motion. It pushes turbine wheel to rotate.
- Reaction blades produce a turning force based on aerodynamic action.
- The turbine blades form a series of convergent duct to increases the gas velocity and
decreases the pressure.
- This results in creating a component of lift that rotates the turbine wheel. It rotates
due to the reaction of the airflow acting on its airfoil shape.

( Module 15.6.1, Page 16 )


Question 3:

I. Explain the various materials that can be used for turbine blades.
- Turbine blades need to have high strength and stability at high temperature.
- Different alloy compositions have been developed which have a good stability to
withstand the thermal stresses.
- Nickel alloys have been developed extensively and are currently being used for
turbine. These alloys have superior strength and oxidation resistance even though
nickel has poor oxidation resistance.
- This weakness is overcome by combined the nickel alloy with chromium. Chromium
is generally 15 – 30 % and forms Chromium Oxide ( Cr2O3 ), a protective layer and
Chromium Carbide.
- Other elements added are aluminium and titanium to improve the strength at high
temperature.
II. What is the material currently being used for turbine blades?
- It is made up of forged steel or nickel alloy.

Question 4: Explain the factors to be considered in the selection of turbine blades


materials.

- The factors that have to be considered in the selection of turbine blades materials
are high temperature capability blades. High temperature makes the blade weakens
and made them more susceptible to creep and corrosion.
- High stress blade. Turbine blades are subjected to stress from centrifugal force and
fluid forces that can cause fracture, yielding or creep.
- Potentially environment of high vibration. Vibrations from the engine and turbines
can cause fatigue failures.
Question 5: Briefly explain the various manufacturing techniques for turbine blades.

- One of the manufacturing techniques is investment casting or lost wax processing.


In order to increase the thermodynamics efficiency of the jet turbine engine,
operating temperature of the engine must be sufficiently high especially in the high
pressure turbine section. The turbine blade cooling is done internally by adding holes
and passages inside the blade itself. The network of passages allows cool air to be
pumped through the blade and escape through holes at the surface, covering the
blade in a layer of cool air.
- The other technique is by single crystal production. The turbine blades are made
using metal with directionally solidified crystal structure to limit the weakness at
grain boundaries. Turbine blade which has columnar crystals with grain boundaries
parallel to its axis can limit or eliminate shear stress caused by tensile load while
rotating.
- By making single crystal turbine blade, grains boundaries are completely removed,
which make the material have better qualities compared to equiaxed and columnar
grain structure. With no grain boundary, turbine blades are not weakened by grain
boundary slipping and thus perform better at high temperature. Moreover, since
most impurities and disorders concentrate at grains boundaries, single crystal
turbine blades are more resistant to high temperature corrosion.

Question 6: Describe the various blade fixing techniques

- Turbine disk are inspected by using strong inspection light and magnifying glass.
- Check for crack on turbine disk that cause rejection and replacement.
- Slight pitting exist can be blended by stowing and polishing.
Question 7: Why the turbine blades are to be cooled?

- Turbine blade cooling is necessary to reduce the blade metal temperature to


acceptable levels for the materials, thus increases the thermal capability of the
engine.

Question 8: Explain the problems encountered in high temperature operation.

- It will have a particular rate of creep. It means the elongation stress is not a fixed
quantity as it is in case of normal temperature.
- Elongation continues to increase through time and blades gradually reduces the
original gap provided at the blade tips. Therefore, contacts with casing result in
failure.

Question 9: What is meant by internal and external cooling of turbine blades? Explain.

- Internal cooling is by passing cool air through passages internal to the blades. Heat is
transferred by conduction through the blade, and then by convection into the air
flow. Cooling is achieved by passing the air through these passages from hub
towards the blade tip. This cooling air comes from the compressor.
- External cooling is by allows higher heat transfer rates than either convection or
impingement cooling. This technique consists of pumping the cooling air out of the
blade through multiple small holes in the structure. Injecting the cooler bleed into
the flow reduces turbine isentropic efficiency, the compression of the cooling air
incurs an energetic penalty, and the cooling added considerable complexity to the
engine.