Efficient Cooling of Turbine Disks

Period of Performance: 01/01/1994 - 12/31/1994

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator

Abstract

In this program Creare will develop test data and design methods for confident design of efficient cooling systems for turbine disks in aircraft gas turbine engines. Cooling systems must prevent ingress of hot combustion gases into the cavity between the turbine disk and its stator when there is an intense, swirling flow past the turbine disk from the turbine nozzles. In previous tests at Creare, this swirling flow has been found to increase the cooling flow requirements. We propose to develop a body of test data applying to basic disk/stator configurations, simple theory to assess the effects of design changes, and qualified computational models for detailed assessment of designs. Innovations are: (1) a small, low-speed test facility in which water is used to simulate, observe, and measure the flow in the disk/stator gap of a gas turbine, and (2) original mechanistic design models based on analysis of the forces which govern the flow in the gap. In Phase I we will prove the feasibility of our approach by developing a basic theory for the effects of external flow on the required cooling flow and showing that theoretical predictions agree with Creare's existing database of test results. In Phase II we will perform detailed tests using flow models which simulate aircraft engines and develop qualified theory and computational models for cooling system design.