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Understanding Ice Crystal Accretion and Shedding Phenomenon in Jet Engines Using a Rig Test

[+] Author Affiliations
Jeanne G. Mason, Philip Chow

The Boeing Co., Seattle, WA

Dan M. Fuleki

National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Paper No. GT2010-22550, pp. 169-178; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2010: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 1: Aircraft Engine; Ceramics; Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Education; Electric Power; Manufacturing Materials and Metallurgy
  • Glasgow, UK, June 14–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4396-3 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3872-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada


The aviation industry has now connected a number of engine power-loss events to the ingestion of atmospheric ice crystals. Ice crystals are believed to penetrate to and eventually accrete on surfaces in the engine core where local air temperatures are warmer than freezing. Research aimed at understanding the accretion and shedding of ice crystals within the engine is being conducted industry-wide. Although this specific icing condition is readily produced inside an operating engine, rig testing is the preferred research tool because it has the advantage of good visibility of the ice accretion process and easy access for video documentation. This paper presents one of the first efforts to simulate the warm air/cold ice conditions occurring inside the engine core using a test rig. The test section contains geometry simulating the transition duct between the low and high compressors in a typical jet engine and an airfoil simulating the engine strut connecting the inner and outer surfaces. Test results showed ice formed on the airfoil and other surfaces in the test section at air temperatures warmer than freezing. However, when both the air and surface temperatures were held below freezing, the injected ice did not melt and no ice accretion was observed. Ice only formed on the airfoil when mixed phase conditions (liquid and ice) were produced, by introducing the ice into a warm airflow. This test concludes that a rig-level ice crystal icing test is feasible and capable of producing ice accretion in a simulated engine environment. As it was the first test of its kind, reporting of these preliminary test results are expected to benefit future experimenters.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada
Topics: Crystals , Ice , Jet engines



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