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FAILURE ANALYSIS TO BLADES OF STEAM TURBINES AT

NORMAL CONDITIONS OF OPERATIONS AND RESONANCE


A.L. Tejeda
1,a
, J.A. Rodrguez
1,b *
, J.M. Rodrguez
2,c
, J.C. Garca
1,d
, M.A. Basurto-Pensado
1,e
1
Centro de Investigacin en Ingeniera y Ciencias Aplicadas Universidad Autnoma del Estado de
Morelos; Av. Universidad 1001, Col. Chamilpa, C. P. 62209, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mxico.
2
Centro Nacional de Investigacin y Desarrollo Tecnolgico; Interior Internado Palmira s/n, Col. Palmira,
C. P. 62490, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mxico
11th International Fatigue Congress, March 2014.
ABSTRACT
The need to provide quality services, accurate diagnosis, timely rehab and improvement in
materials and operation of the turbines, have given way to scientific research crack initiation and
your propagation, the impending fracture and estimating life of the turbine components at normal
conditions and resonance.
The L-1 stage blades suffer high alternating stresses, for its size, exposure to high temperatures,
and mechanical loads under repetitive strain of cyclic load. The last stages of blades are also
subjected to severe centrifugal loads that, when combined with the alternating loads, the stresses
generated are responsible for fatigue failures.
In this work, the last stage L-1 blades of a steam turbine under cyclic load or fatigue were
analyzed, in firstly were observed and measured the crack initiation and crack propagation under
normal conditions operation and then in the conditions on resonance.
The results show that in resonance conditions the blade material fatigue strength is decreased. In
the case of the presence of cracks in the blades, its showed that the natural frequency is decreased.
L-0 L-1 L-2 L-3 L-4 L-5
Stage of steamturbine
Comparative of frequencies
Time
S
t
r
e
s
s
Alternating stresses
Mechanical loads
Experimental blade
INTRODUCTION
Thermoelectric plants produce electricity from the heat energy released, the risks of failure are due
to their working conditions, steam turbines present problems and break downs by design or
operation, among the most notable find high levels of vibration and excessive movement of the rotor.
The defects that cause failure can be generated for the extreme conditions such as alternating
loads. The blades of the low pressure are the most important components of the turbine, the
breakage, corrosions or deposits on the blades lead to imbalance in the rotor, which generates high
vibrations and high resonance stress concentration caused by natural frequencies and the harmonic
speed.
Adequate diagnostics and timely rehabilitation have allowed studies of initiation and propagation of
crack, impending fracture and the estimation of the components of the steam turbine useful life, but
there is the question of how avoid fracture by resonance. The L-1 stage blade, which is mainly
exposed to centrifugal and axial forces, subjected to fatigue was studied.
Maxximu
m stress
zone
Dynamic Stress Distribution
0.15 m
Inner forces in the end section of the blade
MATERIALS AND DEVICES
Specifications of materials, devices and equipment
Materials
Type Materials Type Materials
Specimen test Commercial steel Stage L! blades A"S" #!$ stainless
%evices and Equipment
Universaltestingmachine Shakerelectronicdevice
Load capacity &'$ () *requency range +!&$ ,-
Max. displacement !$$ mm /aveform Sinusoidal
*requency
operation
$'$ ,-
Stressing type TT, TC, CC
TT0TensionTension, TC0TensionCompression, CC0CompressionCompression
MATERIALS AND DEVICES
Sha(er Electronic %evice
1niversal Testing Machine
METHODOLOGY
1. Specimens for fatigue test: pieces of 380 mm and delimited the edges to 40 mm and sectioned
to each 50 mm. A parts of specimens were cracked in transversal direction with 5 mm length to
150 mm from the blades root.
2. Fatigue equipment: Stressing type T-T, maximum displacement 100 mm, frequency 20 Hz.
3. Calculation of centrifugal force (maximum load fatigue) and axial force.
4. Centrifugal forces simulated in an universal testing machine.
5. Obteining natural frequencies considering the case as a cantilever blade.
6. Blade test: First blade without any crack, the second blade with a crack of 15 mm length to 115
mm from the blades root and thrid blade with a crack to 193 mm from the blades root.
7. Normal operation and resonance conditions.
8. Experimental tests of cyclic load, using a external excitation device by contact in specific point.
*
t
0 m 2 r 2 3
&
*
a
0 $.& *
t
RESULTS
Centrifugal and axial forces
Fatigue test
Axial and centrifugal forces
%ATA4
3 0 5+6.77 rad8s
*
t
0 &!$.'5 ()
m 0 !+'& g r 0 $.9#'' m
*
a
0 #&.!! ()
*atigue strength S
f
:normal operation; M<a
Specimen
/ithout
Crac(
/ith Crac(
! #9.6' &6.+&
& #6.77 &5.+5
5 #$.7' &!.9!
# 5$.66 !7.++
' &'.$7 !9.#'
6 &'.$' !+.56
/ithout crac(
/ith crac(
*atigue strength in normal condition of operation =ithout crac( and =ith crac(
RESULTS
Natural frequencies
Blades models
)atural frequency of blade =ithout and =ith crac( >lades =ith crac(
RESULTS
Resonance conditions
%isplacement in blade =ithout crac( %isplacement in blade =ith crac(
Crack propagation = 0.2159 mm lenght
CONCLUSIONS
Blades fatigue strength decreases under resonance conditions, since displacement amplitudes are
higher than under normal load conditions, which starts cracking and spreads until failure in less time.
In order to guarantee designed useful life of blades, it must be monitored turbine functioning to
avoid working on resonance speed zones for long periods of time, considering that if crack appears,
vibrating modes would change and it raises the chance to get into resonance zones.
Results show that natural frequencies decrease and displacement amplitudes raise with cracking,
also cracking propagation requires less number of cycles and it reduces blade useful life under
resonance conditions, compared to normal operation status.
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