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Fatigue Life Consumption for Turbine Blades-Vanes Accelerated by Erosion-Contour Modification
A new mechanism responsible for structural life consumption due to resonant fatigue in turbine blades, or vanes, is presented and explained. A rotating blade or vane in a gas turbine can change its contour due to erosion and/or material build up, in any of these instances, the surface pressure distribution occurring on the suction and pressure sides of blades-vanes can suffer substantial modification of their pressure and temperatures envelopes and flow characteristics. Meanwhile, the relative rotation between the blade and duct vane while the pressurized gas flows and the consequent wake crossings, will induce a fluctuating thrust force or lift that will excite the blade. An actual totally used up set of vane-blade components in a HP turbine power stage in a gas turbine is analyzed. The blade suffered some material erosion mostly at the trailing edge provoking a peculiar surface pressure envelope which evolved as the relative position between the vane and the blade passed in front of each other. Interestingly preliminary modal analysis for this eroded blade indicates several natural frequencies within the aeromechanic power spectrum, moreover, the highest frequency component is 94% of one natural frequency indicating near resonant condition. Independently of other simultaneously occurring fatigue cycles (such as thermal, centrifugal stresses).


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