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The Effect of Surface Roughness on Efficiency of Low Pressure Turbines

[+] Author Affiliations
Raúl Vázquez

ITP Industria de Turbo Propulsores S.A., Madrid, SpainUPM Universidad Politécnica Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Diego Torre

ITP Industria de Turbo Propulsores S.A., Madrid, Spain

Paper No. GT2013-94200, pp. V06AT36A007; 9 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2013: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 6A: Turbomachinery
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, June 3–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5522-5
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


The effect of surface roughness on efficiency of low pressure turbines (LPT) was investigated experimentally in a multistage turbine high-speed rig. The rig consisted of three stages of a state-of-the-art LPT. The stages were characterized by a very high wall-slope angle, reverse cut-off design, very high lift and very high aspect ratio airfoils.

Two sets of airfoils (both stators and rotors) were tested. The first set was made of airfoils with a roughness size of 0.7 μm Ra (25–35×10−5 ks/Cm), which was representative of LPT polished airfoils. The surface finish for the second set of airfoils was 1.8 μm Ra for blades and 2.5 μm Ra for stators (approximately 90×10−5 in terms of ks/Cm for both stators and blades). The resulting roughness of this set was representative of “as-cast” airfoils of low pressure turbines.

The airfoil geometries, velocity triangles, leading and trailing edge locations and flowpath were maintained between both sets. They were tested with the same instrumentation and at the same operating conditions with the intention of determining the isolated impact of the surface roughness on the overall efficiency. The turbine characteristics: sensitivity to speed, specific work, Reynolds number and purge flows were obtained for both sets.

The comparison of the results suggests that the efficiency and capacity of both types of airfoils exhibit the same behaviour. No significant differences in the results can be distinguished for the range of operating conditions of this study.

The results agree with previous studies of distributed roughness in turbines: the use of as-cast rough airfoils in some low pressure turbines at high altitude does not introduce additional pressure losses.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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