“COMPARATIVE ANALYSES OF MICRO-PARTICLE IMPACT BETWEEN TRANSONIC AND SUBSONIC AXIAL COMPRESSORS”

Solid micro-particle ingestion is one of the principal degradation mechanisms in compressor sections. In particular, in industrial applications, micro-particles not captured by the air filtration system cause fouling and, consequently, a performance drop.

This paper presents three-dimensional numerical simulations of micro-particle ingestion (0.15 – 2.00) µm on axial transonic and subsonic compressor rotors. The mass flow rate swallowed by the two rotors is comparable and represents the basis for the fouling comparison. The results show that particles tend to follow the flow by impacting on blade tips with a higher concentration on the pressure side. The suction side is affected only by smaller particle impact (up to 1 µm). Fluid-dynamic phenomena such as separation, stagnation point and tip leakage vortex strongly influence the impact location. Guidelines for proper management in terms of air filtration systems and washing strategies of the power plant in which the compressor could be installed are proposed.

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