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New Approach to the Inspection of Cooling Holes in Aero-Engines

[+] Author Affiliations
Devdas Shetty, Tom Eppes, Nikolai Nazaryan, Jun Kondo, Claudio Campana

University of Hartford

Paper No. IMECE2006-16097, pp. 287-293; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2006-16097
From:
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Manufacturing Engineering and Textile Engineering
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Manufacturing Engineering Division and Textile Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4774-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME

abstract

The need for improved thermal efficiency of jet engines has led to changes in the design of combustor turbine blades. Modern turbine stage inlet temperatures now exceed the melting point temperatures of turbine blade materials. Super alloys, based on nickel, have been developed for use as blades, guide vanes, afterburners etc. To combat and avert blade failure caused by excessive operating temperatures, film cooling has been incorporated into blade design. In film cooling, cool air is bled from the compressor stage, ducted into internal chambers of the turbine blades, and discharged through small holes in the blade walls. This provides a thin, cool, insulating blanket along the external surface of the turbine blade. Large numbers of shaped holes have allowed designers to maximize the cooling effect. This paper explores a new design for measuring the presence and depth of blind holes in turbine blade. In the paper, we examine the inspection techniques currently in use and present a novel optical technique as an alternative. To precisely control the location of the holes on the turbine blade, an XYZ inspection stage is employed. Using a small collimating tube, a micro-beam illuminates each hole in a pre-programmed fashion. Depending on the level of reflected intensity and when it occurs, the presence of a hole bottom is determined. The optical inspection system consists of a laser, motorized micropositioning stage, collimating tubes, data acquisition software and a customized fixture for manipulating the samples.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME

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