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Effect of Vortex Shedding on the Performance of Scoop Based Lubrication Devices

[+] Author Affiliations
Arun Prabhakar, Yousif Abdalla Abakr

University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, Malaysia

Kathy Simmons

University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Paper No. GT2017-63444, pp. V07AT34A008; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2017: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 7A: Structures and Dynamics
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 26–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5092-3
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


In civil aircraft aeroengine bearing chambers it is sometimes difficult to feed oil to bearings using the traditional under-race or targeted jet approaches. In such situations one proposed solution is that of a scoop delivery system. Published experimental investigations into scoop performance show that scoop collection efficiency (the percentage of oil delivered by the scoop system to its destination compared to that supplied by the feed jet) is a function of many operational and geometric parameters. However even with high speed imaging it is impossible to experimentally determine in detail the factors that most contribute to reduction in collection efficiency and it is here particularly that a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) investigation has value.

In the work reported here a commercial CFD code (ANSYS Fluent) is used to investigate vortex formation at the scoop tips and the effect these structures have on scoop collection efficiency. The computational domain, a 2D slice through the chosen scoop system, is discretized utilizing ANSYS Meshing. A Volume of fluid (VOF) method is used to model the multiphase flow of oil and air in the system and the RNG k-ε turbulence model is employed.

The results obtained show that the formation of vortices from the tip of the rotating scoops leads to a reduction in pressure in the region near the tip of the oil jet, subsequently causing part of the jet to divert upwards away from the scoop creating a plumed tip. The pluming effect reduces capture efficiency because the oil plume moves outwards under centrifugal effects and this oil is not captured. The frequency of vortex shedding from the scooped rotor was investigated and the Strouhal numbers obtained were around 0.132. This compares well to 0.15 for an inclined flat plate. Two potential methods to reduce the jet pluming effect are investigated one in which the sharp tip of the scoop is blunted and the other in which the jet direction is reversed. The blunt tip increased capture efficiency by almost 2%. Reversing the jet orientation reduces jet pluming but also significantly reduces capture efficiency; it was found to be 10% lower for the case investigated.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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