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Title: Thermal control of gas turbine casings for improved tip clearance
Author: Choi, Myeonggeun
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 6782
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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A thermal tip clearance control system provides a robust and flexible means of manipulating the closure between the casing and the rotating blade tips in a jet engine, reducing undesirable tip leakage flows. This may be achieved using an impingement cooling scheme on the external casing of the engine in conjunction with careful thermal management of internal over-tip seal segment cavity. For a reduction in thrust specific fuel consumption, the mass flow rate of air used for cooling must be minimised, be at as low a pressure as possible and delivered through a light weight structure surrounding the rotating components in the turbine. This thesis first characterises the effectiveness of a range of external impingement cooling arrangements in typical engine casing closure system. The effects of jet-to-jet pitch, number of jets, inline and staggered alignment of jets, arrays of jets on flange, on an engine representative casing geometry are assessed through comparison of the convective heat transfer coefficient distributions in a series of numerical studies. A baseline case is validated experimentally. The validation data allowed the suitability of different turbulence closure models to be assessed using a commercial RANS solver. Importantly for each configuration the thermal contraction of an idealised engine casing is predicted using thermo-mechanical finite element models, at a series of operating conditions representing engine idle to maximum take-off conditions. Cooling is provided by manifolds attached to the outside of the engine. The assembly tolerance of these components leads to variation in the standoff distance between the manifold and the casing. For cooling arrangements with promising performance, the study is extended to characterise the variation in closure with standoff distance. It is shown that where a sparse array of non-interacting jets is used the system can be made tolerant of large build misalignments. The casing geometry itself contributes to the thermal response of the system, and, in an additional study, the effect of casing thickness and circumferential thermal control flanges are investigated. Restriction of the passage of heat into the flanges was seen to be dramatically change their effectiveness and slight necking of the flanges at their root was shown to improve the performance disproportionally. High temperature secondary air flowing past the internal face of the engine casing tends to heat the casing, causing it to grow. Experimental and numerical characterisation of a heat transfer within a typical over-tip segment cavity heat transfer is presented in this thesis for the first time. A simplified modelling strategy is proposed for casing and a means to reduce the casing heat pickup by up to 25 % was identified. The overall validity of the modelling approach used is difficult to validate in the engine environment, however limited data from a test engine temperature survey became available during the course of the research. By modelling this engine tip clearance control system it was shown that good agreement to the temperature distribution in the engine casing could be achieved where full surface external heat transfer coefficient boundary conditions were available.
Supervisor: Gillespie, David R. H. Sponsor: Rolls-Royce plc ; Technology Strategy Board ; Aerospace Technology Institute
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Aerodynamics and heat transfer ; Turbomachinery ; Aerothermal ; Gas turbine casing ; Cooling manifold ; Seal segment ; Thermal clearance control ; Thermomechanical ; Impingement cooling ; Blade tip clearance