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Automated Optimisation of T-Root Rotor Grooves With B-Splines and Finite Element Analysis

[+] Author Affiliations
Jonathan Henson, Richard Dolan, Gareth Thomas, Christos Georgakis

Alstom, Rugby, UK

Paper No. GT2015-43179, pp. V07AT27A006; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2015: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 7A: Structures and Dynamics
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 15–19, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5676-5
  • Copyright © 2015 by Alstom Technologie AG


An Alstom tool is described for the automated and simultaneous design optimisation of 2 and 4-hook T-root grooving of multiple steam turbine rotor stages in order to minimise the peak stress. The finite element axisymmetric thermal-stress calculation is performed with Abaqus in a few hours on modest hardware. The tool embeds Python scripting to facilitate the rotor groove model definition and meshing within Abaqus/CAE, with emphasis placed on minimising the effort for the initial setup. Rotor groove shapes are described with B-splines, maintained and modified within the in-house tool. Their shape is progressively refined as directed by a hybrid evolutionary-gradient based optimisation engine in order to achieve the minimum stress objective. In the region of highest stress, the groove boundary shape adjusts as the optimisation proceeds to conform to the local contours of stress. Application to a low pressure steam turbine rotor demonstrates comparable or lower stresses with this tool compared to those from manual expert optimisation. The method can be readily extended to other geometric entities on the rotor described with B-spline curves, e.g. cavities, seals.

Copyright © 2015 by Alstom Technologie AG



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