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Preliminary Design Optimization of Impingement Cooled Turbine Airfoils

[+] Author Affiliations
Robert F. Bergholz

GE Aviation, Cincinnati, OH

Paper No. GT2008-50704, pp. 675-689; 15 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2008: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 4: Heat Transfer, Parts A and B
  • Berlin, Germany, June 9–13, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4314-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3824-2
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Generally, the objective of the turbine cooling design process is to minimize the amount of cooling flow required to achieve component life goals, including creep rupture, low-cycle (thermal-mechanical) fatigue, and material oxidation. High-pressure turbine airfoils in particular are subject to large variations in external gas temperatures and heat transfer coefficients, and high aero-mechanical loads. The efficient distribution of internal and film cooling flows, the management of internal coolant temperatures, and the optimal arrangement of cooling features to control thermal gradients are major factors in controlling thermal stress. The objective of this paper is to describe a process for conceptual and preliminary turbine airfoil cooling design based on the assembly of primitive cooling elements to define an overall “realizable” 3D airfoil cooling structure. This approach allows the evaluation of multiple cooling configurations, and potentially an improved prediction of cooling flows, early in the design process. This conceptual design method can be used to quickly generate models for fabrication and testing in a rapid prototyping laboratory. The design process is outlined for the simplified case of impingement cooling in a prototypical airfoil shape to illustrate some of the key design parameters and procedures. A future paper will address improvements in automation and more complex geometries. The paper also presents predictions based on a parametric impingement cooling model for the local surface heat transfer coefficient distribution. The model is easily incorporated into the conceptual design method. It is particularly useful for determining axial and radial thermal gradients the airfoil wall induced by sparse impingement arrays, for which the use of average heat transfer coefficients give unsatisfactory results. The model was calibrated using data from past published literature and more recently obtained experimental data from the GE Global Research Center.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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