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Turbine Steam Path Damage:

Theory and Practice

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals

T.H. McCloskey
R.B. Dooley
Electric Power Research Institute


W.P. McNaughton
Cornice Engineering, Inc.

EPRI • 3412 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, California 94304 • PO Box 10412, Palo Alto, California 94303 USA
800.313.3774 • 650.855.2121 • •
About EPRI
EPRI creates science and technology solutions for the global energy and energy services
industry. U.S. electric utilities established the Electric Power Research Institute in 1973
as a nonprofit research consortium for the benefit of utility members, their customers, and
society. Now known simply as EPRI, the company provides a wide range of innovative
products and services to more than 1000 energy-related organizations in 40 countries.
EPRI’s multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers draws on a worldwide network
of technical and business expertise to help solve today’s toughest energy and
environmental problems.

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ISBN 0-8033-5062-7

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Copyright © 1999 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.


This two volume work summarizes the current state of knowledge of steam path
damage in steam turbines. It is an integration of the work performed and reported
by literally hundreds of researchers, designers, and turbine operators spanning the
twentieth century, with emphasis on developments of the past twenty years. The
authors have drawn extensively from that work. We have had the rare privilege of
working with an outstanding group of experts and consultants worldwide who have
provided review, comment, supporting documentation, illustrations and figures for
this book. We would like to acknowledge the following reviewers:

Individual Organization Country

M. Ball EPRI Consultant England
D.A. Barnett Pacific Power Australia
A. Bursik EPRI Consultant Germany
B. Conlin ESKOM South Africa
W. David Siemens AG Germany
J. Denk ABB Power Generation Ltd. Switzerland
X. Du China Light & Power Hong Kong
L.B. Dufor KEMA The Netherlands
P. Ford FCA Australia
D. French David N. French, Inc. U.S.A.
M.B. Henry Austa Electric Australia
A. Hesketh Alstom Energy, Ltd. England
J.J. Hickey ESB Ireland
Y. Hoffman Sverdlovenergo Russia
A. Holmes Alstom Energy, Ltd. England
S.R. Holdsworth Alstom Energy, Ltd. England
E. Hoxtermann VGB Germany
U. Izrailev ORGRES Russia
P. James PowerGen England
B. Kooy KEMA The Netherlands
T. Lam Turbine Technology International U.S.A.
A. Leyzerovich Consultant U.S.A.
K. Mathwin ESKOM South Africa
K.-H. Mayer Alstom Germany
P. Millett EPRI U.S.A.
C. Moore Ontario Hydro Canada
R. Ortolano Turbine RESCUE U.S.A.
S. Paterson Aptech Engineering Services, Inc. U.S.A.
A. Petrov Moscow Power Institute Russia
T. Petrova Moscow Power Institute Russia
F. Pocock EPRI Consultant U.S.A.
M. Pollard Carolina Power & Light U.S.A.
V. Rezinskikh All Russian Thermal Engineering Institute (VTI) Russia
B. Roberts Alstom Energy, Ltd. England
S. Sakurai Hitachi, Ltd. Japan
W. Sanders Turbo-Technic Services, Inc. Canada
R. Scott ABB Power Generation U.S.A.

V.N. Semenov Moscow Power Institute Russia
T. Shoji Tohoku University Japan
Y. Shtromberg ORGRES Russia
G. Silvestri Consultant U.S.A.
M.O. Speidel Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Switzerland
W. Steltz Consultant U.S.A.
R. Svoboda ABB Power Generation, Ltd. Switzerland
B. Syrett EPRI U.S.A.
H. Termuehlen Siemens Power Corporation U.S.A.
E. Tolksdorf VGB Germany
F.H. van Zyl ESKOM South Africa
R. Viswanathan EPRI U.S.A.
A. Whitehead General Electric Company U.S.A.
D. Willaman Siemens-Westinghouse U.S.A.
K. Woolhouse FCA Australia

All the figures were drawn by Marilyn Winans of EPRI Graphics in the Communications Group.


Historically, most treatises about steam turbines have concentrated on thermo-

dynamics or design. In contrast, the primary focus of this book is on the problems
that occur in the turbine steam path. Some of these problems have been long known
to the industry, starting as early as A. Stodola’s work at the turn of the century in which
mechanisms such as solid particle erosion, corrosion and liquid droplet damage were
recognized. What we have tried to do here is to provide, in a single, comprehensive
reference, the current state of knowledge for major forms of steam path damage. For
each problem, topics covered include features (microscopically and macroscopically)
of the damage, common locations and susceptible units, mechanism, root causes,
determining the extent of damage, repairs and immediate actions to be taken, and
longterm actions.
There are strong motivations for directing the focus to steam path problems.
Failures of blades and discs in fossil and nuclear turbines represent a serious loss
of availability for power generation suppliers and other energy suppliers worldwide.
Other problems such as deposition onto blade surfaces result in efficiency losses
that restrict operation, may result in reduction of maximum capacity, and result in
significant economic penalties.
Three strongly held philosophical beliefs underlie the approach taken in this book.
First, that understanding of the mechanism and root cause of each incidence is of
paramount importance to the permanent alleviation of the problem. Second, that by
understanding what causes these problems to occur, it should be possible to antici-
pate their development, monitor evolving “precursors” in the unit, and take early
action to avoid a significant condition from occurring. This will become particularly
important to turbine operators as the period between planned overhauls increases,
thus placing a premium on detecting developing damage without opening the turbine.
Third, a formalized company-wide program for correction, prevention, and control
can minimize turbine-related problems. Events can emanate from inadequate initial
design, from poor operation and maintenance, cycle chemistry environments, and
lack of proper management support. It is clear that more than just proper technical
guidance will be necessary to reduce the costs associated with turbine damage.
Over the last twenty years, many people and groups have influenced our thinking on
this very diverse topic; while a complete listing would cover many pages, a sample
provides a flavor for the breadth of their contributions.
Many excellent papers and design text books have been written on the subject of
steam turbines, including those written by Wilfred Campbell, Ken Cotton, Ralph
Ortolano, M. Prohl, Neville Rieger, J. Kenneth Salisbury, Bill Sanders, George Silvestri,
and A. Stodola to name just a few. Over the last 10 years, tremendous support has
also been available internationally, and many individuals and organizations have
assisted in developing solutions to most of the known steam path failures. Particular
acknowledgment is made of Walter David (Siemens), Joseph Denk (ABB), Alan
Hesketh (Alstom), Stuart Holdsworth (GEC), Markus Speidel (Swiss Federal Institute
of Technology), and Bobby Svoboda (ABB).

EPRI has addressed a number of steam path damage mechanisms and has held
numerous conferences, which have consolidated our thinking. Vis Viswanathan, our
colleague at EPRI, has dedicated his professional career to the better understanding
of high temperature failure mechanisms and remaining life techniques, and his book
“Damage Mechanisms and Life Assessment of High Temperature Components”
remains a mountain in the field. John Stringer, the Executive Technical Fellow at
EPRI, suggested the development of this book as a follow on to the similar Boiler
Tube Failure Book. Gail McCarthy, Director of EPRI’s Strategic Science and
Technology has enthusiastically supported all our efforts over the last three years,
and more importantly provided the funding for our time.
Over the last six to eight years there has been a concentrated effort worldwide
through the International Collaboration of Steam Chemistry and Corrosion to fully
and comprehensively understand the environment in the phase transition area.
Exciting and potentially very significant breakthroughs have been achieved in our
understanding of nucleation, condensation, early condensate, liquid films on blade
surfaces, and concentration mechanisms. Among the many that have been instru-
mental in this work are Albert Bursik, Otakar Jonas, Alain Kleitz, and Fabio Sigon.
The results of this work have necessitated new thinking about some of the most
important turbine damage mechanisms, including corrosion fatigue and stress
corrosion cracking. With this new knowledge, we felt the time was right to bring
together for the first time the intricate links between mechanical aspects and
cycle chemistry.
This book is our attempt to bring together the information on all the mechanisms in
a form that separates the theory and practice. We hope this approach will be most
useful to the operating engineers responsible for the turbine. We hope also that the
book will be a natural springboard for the development of a coordinated Steam Path
Damage Reduction Program, which will drastically reduce availability losses and
improve the efficiency of steam turbines wherever they operate.
During the compilation, we have realized that full understanding is not available for
all the damage and deposition mechanisms, but we now feel that the deficiencies
have been recognized which must lead to further research and development to
address them.

Tom McCloskey
Barry Dooley
Warren McNaughton

Palo Alto, California

June, 1999


a crack size; flaw size

a* condensation coefficient
A the “A” parameter for qualitative measurement of creep damage
Ao, A2 constants
A1 crack and specimen geometry factor (equation 6-6)
b fatigue strength exponent
c fatigue ductility exponent
c’ particle fraction (equation 17-1)
cax coefficient defined from velocity triangles (see Figure 32-2)
C, C1 , C2 , C3 , C4, C5 , C6, C7, C8 , C9 , C10 constants
C* a path independent integral used to determine stress and strain at a
creep crack tip
Ca acoustic velocity
CE erosion coefficient
Cf skin friction coefficient
CL clearance
Co impurity concentration in gas
C∞ the impurity concentration in the bulk fluid
Ct extension of C* into small-scale creep regime
C(t) extension of C* into small-scale creep regime
d diameter
da/dN crack growth rate
D damage index
D* damping energy
Dm average diameter of rotating blades
Do damping energy loss per unit volume
Dc lower-bound creep-rupture ductility
Dp fatigue ductility obtained from pure fatigue tests
E Young’s modulus
Ec crevice corrosion potential above which crevice corrosion may start
Ecorr corrosion potential
ED erosion depth
ED,R relative erosion depth
Ep pitting potential above which pitting may start
Epp protection potential below which existing pits stop growing
ƒ frequency
ƒs surface finish
FR resonance response factor (equation 6-3)
Fs factor of safety
G the “G” parameter for creep; a modified Larson-Miller parameter (Figure 6-4)
h enthalpy per unit mass
hb blade height
hR relative height
H* enthalpy
H machine harmonic

vii vii
Nomenclature (continued)

Hv hardness
ip pit current density
IF Frenkel rate of formation of critical sized nuclei (equation 8-1)
J constant (equation 4-2)
k constant
kb Boltzman constant
kƒ fatigue strength reduction factor (fatigue stress concentration factor)
kƒm stress concentration factor for mean stress
ks surface roughness factor
K, KI stress intensity factor
KD partitioning coefficient
KIC fracture toughness
KISCC threshold stress intensity for stress corrosion cracking
∆K cyclic stress intensity factor, stress intensity range
∆KTH threshold stress intensity in fatigue
Kt stress concentration factor
l flaw length
L length
m mass flow
m* molecular mass
m1” mass flux of impurity
M mass
MH machine harmonic
n constant
n’ cyclic strain hardening coefficient
nb blade speed
no number of grain boundaries with a crack or cavity (“A” parameter method)
ni number of applied stress-strain loops (equation 6-5)
nT number of grain boundaries with a crack or cavity (“A” parameter method)
nv number of grain boundaries without a crack or cavity (“A” parameter
N number of cycles
Nƒ (one half of the) number of strain reversals to failure
Ni number of cycles to failure for cycle i (equation 6-5)
Nl pure fatigue life (number of cycles)
NR rated speed
NREY Reynolds number
p partial pressure in the gas phase
P pressure
PI probability of initiation
PW windage power
q notch sensitivity factor (equation 4-1)
Q* Arrhenius activation energy
Q quantity of heat
r radius

Nomenclature (continued)

R stress ratio = (σmin/σmax)

R* universal gas constant
RSCC SCC crack growth rate
s entropy per unit mass
S stimulus (equation 6-3)
S entropy
Se endurance limit
Ss supersaturation (ratio of pressure to saturation partial pressure at a given
steam condition)
Sy material yield strength
Su material ultimate strength
Sc Schmidt number
t time
td actual or calculated time to SCC initiation (equation 25-1)
th hold time
ti time spent under condition i
tN normalized time (equations 25-1 and 25-2)
tr time to rupture
tr i time to rupture under condition i
T temperature
Ts service temperature (Figure 8-13)
Tm metal temperature (Figure 8-13)
Ts service temperature
TT tempering temperature
u internal energy per unit of mass
U internal energy or energy storage
v volume per unit mass
vp pit and crevice growth rate
V velocity
V(H) potential (Figure 19-6)
V* volume
VSHE electrode potential
w weight
W* work
W wheel speed (rotating blade speed)
x wetness, %
X energy released in bucket/stage energy (Figure 3-7)
y, yo moisture content

α nozzle angle
α‘ angle of impingement
β thickness
χ, γ, ξ angles as marked in figures
δ damping
ε strain

Nomenclature (continued)

∆ε strain range
∆εp /2 plastic strain amplitude
ε creep rate; also in change in strain

fatigue ductility coefficient
εi the strain accumulated under condition i
εri the strain to rupture under condition i
εt total strain
∆εp cyclic plastic strain
∆εxx strain range components (used for strain-range partitioning)
φ contact angle
φc critical contact angle
φT surface energy per unit area or surface tension of condensed material
φV volumetric flow coefficient
Λ conductivity
η efficiency
λ1, λ2 attenuation
ν frequency
ρ density
σ stress
σ* service stress
σa alternating stress
σao nominal alternating stress
σbo nominal bending stress
σco nominal centrifugal stress
σD vibratory stress (equation 4-2)
σƒ’ fatigue strength coefficient
σƒ flow stress
σm mean stress
σmo nominal mean stress
σmax maximum stress
σmin minimum stress
σr stress range = σmax - σmin
σrel relative stress
σs steady-state stress
σt total stress
σy yield stress
∆σ stress range
υ molecular volume
ω circular frequency

Table of Contents Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals

Chapter Page
Acknowledgments iii
Preface v
Nomenclature vii

1 Introduction and Background 1-1

1.1 Historical Background to Turbine Damage 1-1
1.2 Significance of Turbine Blade Failures 1-2
1.3 Objectives of this Book 1-3
1.4 Scope of Coverage 1-3
1.5 Organization of this Book 1-5
1.6 Recent Developments in the Identification, Correction,
and Prevention of Steam Path Damage 1-6
1.7 Some Challenges that Remain 1-7
References 1-10

2 Thermodynamic Principles and Power Plant Steam Cycles 2-1

2.1 Introduction and Significance of Challenges Facing
Turbine Components 2-1
2.2 Review of Thermodynamic Principles 2-1
2.3 Steam Properties 2-2
2.4 Steam Cycles - Theory 2-6
2.5 Turbine Efficiency and Overview of Losses 2-9
2.6 Steam Cycles - Practice 2-14
2.7 Moisture Limitations 2-17
References 2-19

3 Turbine Design and Construction Fundamentals 3-1

3.1 Introduction 3-1
3.2 Overall Turbine Design 3-1
3.3 Fossil and Nuclear Turbine Designs Compared 3-8
3.4 Steam Turbines for Co-Generation, Combined Cycle and
Geothermal Plants 3-9
3.5 Rotors 3-9
3.6 Casings 3-12
3.7 Valves 3-13
3.8 Seals 3-14
3.9 Bypass Systems 3-14
3.10 Drains 3-15

Table of Contents Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals (continued)

Chapter Page
4 Turbine Blading Design I: Overview of Function, Features
and Materials of Construction 4-1
4.1 Introduction 4-1
4.2 Features and Structure of HP and IP Blades 4-1
4.3 Features and Structure of LP Blades 4-3
4.4 Required Material Properties 4-5
4.5 Materials of Construction for HP and IP Blades 4-7
4.6 Materials of Construction for LP Blades 4-8
4.7 Surface Treatments 4-11
References 4-11

5 Turbine Blading Design II: Stresses, Evaluation of Frequency

Response and Aerodynamics 5-1
5.1 Introduction 5-1
5.2 Turbine Blade Stresses 5-2
5.3 Frequency Response and the Campbell Diagram 5-14
5.4 Aerodynamic Analysis and Flow Analysis of Blades 5-18
References 5-19

6 Life Assessment Methods 6-1

6.1 Introduction 6-1
6.2 A Generic Procedure for Blade and Blade Attachment
Life Assessment 6-1
6.3 Stress Analysis 6-4
6.4 Fatigue Analysis 6-6
6.5 Fracture Mechanics Analysis 6-7
6.6 Deterministic and Probabilistic Methods 6-8
6.7 Creep and Creep-Fatigue 6-8
6.8 Life Assessment for Creep Damage 6-11
References 6-14

7 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine 7-1

7.1 Introduction 7-1
7.2 Developing Guidelines for Cycle Chemistry: Origin and
Transport of Impurities; Solubility and Volatility 7-3
7.3 Fossil Plant Cycle Chemistry Guidelines 7-6
7.4 Nuclear Plant Cycle Chemistry Guidelines 7-13
7.5 Specific Application of Cycle Chemistry Guidelines 7-15
References 7-21

Table of Contents Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals (continued)

Chapter Page
8 Impurities in the Turbine: Condensation, Droplet and Liquid Film
Formation, and Deposition 8-1
8.1 Introduction 8-1
8.2 Moisture Nucleation 8-2
8.3 Effect of Chemistry on Nucleation 8-6
8.4 The Early Condensate 8-7
8.5 Liquid Film Formation 8-9
8.6 Deposition on Blade Surfaces 8-10
8.7 Observations of Electrically Charged Droplets and Liquid Films 8-13
8.8 Summary of Impurity Concentration and Deposition 8-13
8.9 Instrumentation for Analysis of Steam Samples, Condensate,
and Deposits 8-14
References 8-16

9 Metallurgical and Chemical Analysis; Mechanical Testing 9-1

9.1 Introduction 9-1
9.2 Identify Damaged Locations (Step 1, Figure 9-1) 9-1
9.3 Complete Damage Report (Step 2, Figure 9-1) 9-2
9.4 Sample Identification, Documentation and Removal
(Step 3, Figure 9-1) 9-2
9.5 Prepare Background Information Package (Step 4, Figure 9-1) 9-3
9.6 Prepare Metallurgical Evaluation Plan (Step 5, Figure 9-1) 9-3
9.7 Visual and Other NDE of As-Received Sample(s)
(Step 6, Figure 9-1) 9-3
9.8 Metallographic and Fractographic Analysis (Step 7, Figure 9-1) 9-3
9.9 Chemical Analysis: Alloy Verification and Deposit Analysis
(Step 8, Figure 9-1) 9-4
9.10 Evaluate Mechanical Properties (Step 9, Figure 9-1) 9-5
9.11 Prepare a Damage Analysis Report (Step 10, Figure 9-1) 9-5
References 9-5

10 Monitoring and Diagnostics 10-1

10.1 Introduction 10-1
10.2 Turbine Instrumentation 10-1
10.3 Performance Testing 10-2
10.4 Monitoring Performance by Enthalpy Drop Testing 10-4
10.5 Measuring LP Stage Efficiency and Wetness Levels with
an Optical Wetness Probe 10-6
10.6 Interpreting Enthalpy Drop Test Results 10-7
10.7 Other Degradation Diagnostics 10-7
10.8 Measuring Blade Vibration 10-7
10.9 Modal Testing 10-11
References 10-11

Table of Contents Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals (continued)

Chapter Page
11 Inspection and NDE Methods 11-1
11.1 Introduction 11-1
11.2 Steam Path Audits and Outage Inspections 11-1
11.3 Visual Examination and Access Issues 11-3
11.4 Inspection of Rotating Blades 11-6
11.5 Inspection of Stationary Blades and Turbine Components 11-7
11.6 Inspection of Disc Rim Blade Attachments and Disc Keyways 11-8
References 11-8

12 Formalized Programs for the Correction, Prevention

and Control of Damage 12-1
12.1 Formalizing a Company-Wide Program for Correction,
Prevention and Control of Steam Path Damage 12-1
12.2 Corporate Directives/Philosophy Statement and Program Goals 12-3
12.3 The Turbine Condition Assessment Team (T-CAT);
Multidisciplinary Approach and Personnel Training 12-4
12.4 Comprehensive Reporting and Trending 12-5
12.5 Economic Evaluations 12-5
12.6 Extending the Interval Between Turbine-Generator Outages 12-9
12.7 Shortening Outage Length 12-10
References 12-12

13 Turbine Repairs and Repair Methods 13-1

13.1 Introduction 13-1
13.2 Blade Replacement 13-1
13.3 Information Common to All Blade Repairs 13-2
13.4 Erosion Shield Repair 13-4
13.5 Tenon and Coverband (Shroud) Repair 13-6
13.6 Lashing Lugs and Tiewire Repair 13-6
13.7 Airfoil Repair 13-8
13.8 Rotating Blade Root Repair 13-8
13.9 Repairs to Stationary Blades/Nozzles 13-8
13.10 Information Common to All Rotor Repairs 13-9
13.11 Repair of Disc Rim Blade Attachment Area of Rotors 13-12
References 13-13

Chapter 1 • Volume 1

Introduction and

1.1 Historical Background to In 1883, de Laval built his first prac-

Turbine Damage tical steam engine, using high
The potential for steam power was velocity steam jets to push blades of
recognized by the ancients, with a turbine wheel. That single-stage,
descriptions of potential steam single-wheel turbine operated at
weapons or novelties contained in speeds up to 26,000 rpm with tip
works by Archimedes and Hero of speeds of the larger rotors over 365
Alexandria (a reaction design). m/sec (1200 fps). de Laval had to
Giovanni de Branca, in 1629 sug- solve several problems which are
gested a steam jet to blow against a still central to turbine design includ-
modified waterwheel and turn a ing (i) how to lower the high centrifu-
roasting spit (an impulse design). gal forces, (ii) how to eliminate
vibration, and (iii) how to ensure
Steam power, used in reciprocating
steady operation.2 He recognized
steam engines drove the industrial
the phenomena of critical speed. In
revolution and many contributors
the mid 1880s Charles Curtis
slowly added improvements to the
patented a turbine design based on
basic device invented by Thomas
this concept of expanding steam
Savery in 1698.1 In contrast, the
through a nozzle, then impacting the
development of a steam turbine
high-velocity, low-pressure steam jet
started much later but had a shorter
on the blades of a rotating wheel.1
development period. Throughout
It included velocity compounding for
the late 18th and 19th centuries, a
the first time. This design was
series of investigators worked
acquired by General Electric in
toward designing a practical steam
1897 and has been the subject of
turbine. More than one hundred
constant improvement since, includ-
patents granted up to 1880 allowed
ing, for example, the issue of
the basic developments to occur
patents for reheating steam in 1905
that lead finally in the 1880s to the
and 1906, although the use of
point when the technology to build
regenerative feedwater heating and
practical working steam turbines
reheat were not actually incorpo-
caught up to the vision. At this time
rated until the 1920s.1
Carl Gustaf de Laval and Charles
Parsons built practical steam tur-
bines of two different designs: an
impulse type and a reaction type,

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 1-1

Parsons, in 1884, took a different damage mechanisms discussed in Our analysis indicates the following
approach and built a turbine that in Volume 2, have been long recog- general conclusions:
concept is very similar to today’s nized: • Damage to steam path compo-
machines.3 The steam entered a • Moisture effects. The level of nents by various mechanisms
single casing and flowed axially in allowable moisture in the last continues to result in significant
opposite directions through two stages of the LP turbine has been economic impact domestically
groups of turbine wheels, each con- a practical limit on the usable and internationally.
taining fourteen consecutive wheels. temperatures and pressures of
The design was intended to subdi- • Corrosion fatigue of blades in low
steam since the earliest turbine
vide the pressure drop among the pressure (LP) turbines continues
designs. Severe erosion was
stages and reduce the required rpm. to be the most significant form of
found in LP blades of early tur-
An early experimental turbine, pro- steam path damage. It occurs in
bine designs and lead to the
ducing 7.46 kW (10 hp) with 7.6 cm the phase (dry-to-wet) transition
imposition of a limitation of about
(3 in.) wheels, operated at 17,000 zone (PTZ); thus the majority of
12% on exit wetness. A second,
rpm.2 In 1887 Parsons designed a LP blade damage occurs in the
although less limiting effect, was
compound turbine with a high pres- last two rows in fossil fuel units,
characterized by Baumann8 as
sure and a low pressure turbine while in nuclear units, a greater
early as 1910: that the efficiency,
mounted on the same shaft. portion of the damage is in the L-
η, of wet stages of the LP
Parsons went on to develop a radial 3 through L-6 rows of LP turbines.
decreases approximately 1% for
flow reaction turbine and a condens- • Significant damage occurs by
every 1% increase in wetness in
ing turbine. The condensing tur- stress corrosion cracking in
the stage.
bine, developed only seven years rotors of both nuclear and fossil
after Parson’s initial turbine was • Solid particle erosion. The study units; increasingly, attention has
more efficient than steam engines of of erosive processes has a long focused on the disc rim blade
the time, which had seen over two history. For example, Stodola2 attachment region.
hundred years of development.4 wrote of solid particle erosion
The rights to manufacture the affecting turbine blades: “The • Damage in high pressure (HP)
Parsons reaction turbines were wear by entrained foreign matter and intermediate pressure (IP)
acquired by Westinghouse in 1895; in the steam, which is mostly turbines of fossil units caused by
Allis-Chalmers also acquired rights nothing but hard burned boiler solid particle erosion also contin-
to manufacture the Parsons design.1 sediment, produces a smooth, ues to be significant, although
The first power station to produce almost mirror-like, surface, and is improved designs and coatings
electricity from a steam turbine was more pronounced at about the have decreased the rate of dam-
in 1888 in a Newcastle-upon-Tyne, mid-height of the bucket, where age accumulation from that seen
England, power station using a the velocity of flow is evidently a in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Parsons generating set. maximum.” • Deposition of copper in the HP
The improvement of designs, opera- • General corrosion of rotating and and IP sections has seen recent
tion and efficiency continue to today stationary blades. Stodola2 also increases in occurrence, although
and make interesting historical read- has extensive discussions of cor- this phenomenon originally
ing.1-7 For example, standardization rosion of rotating and stationary occurred in the late 1950s.
to 1,800 and 3,600 rpm machines blades. • Steam path damage is often con-
(from a variety of speeds - 720, 750, current with other problems in the
1200, 1500 and 1800) occurred in 1.2 Significance of Turbine Blade plant, Figure 1-1; in many cases,
North America when 25 Hz power Failures more than one problem is evident
stopped being used by utilities and in units reporting blade failures.
Steam path damage, particularly of
the frequency was standardized to blades, has long been recognized • For many observations of dam-
60 Hz. This process began in the as a leading cause of steam turbine age, either the root cause is not
1920s, although at least one major unavailability for large fossil fuel determined, or it is determined
U.S. utility continued to use 50 Hz plants worldwide.9-11 It has been incorrectly. As a result, corrective
until the 1940s. estimated that turbine problems cost actions taken have varying suc-
Given the topic of this book, it is the U.S. utility industry as much as cess rates, and the same types of
interesting to reflect that many of the one billion dollars per year and that damage often reoccur. Usually,
the cost for industrial turbines, which
suffer similar problems, is higher.12

1-2 Introduction and Background

the final failure is remote enough
from the events, or more normally, Number of Units
series of events, that the true 40
cause is obscured.14 1 - Condenser leaks
2 - Corrosion in boiler
As users push for more economic 35 3 - Stress corrosion in boiler
operation of units, a key goal is to 4 - Stress corrosion in turbine
move to longer periods between 5 - Silica deposits
planned turbine outages. Thus there 30 6 - Cu deposits
are strong economic drivers pushing 7 - Valve hang up
to decrease the rate at which dam- 8 - Erosion in LP turbine
9 - Solid particle erosion
age in blades accumulates, and 25
10 - Malfunction of water treatment system
maintain unit efficiency without the 11 - Bellows expansion joint failure
need for intervening maintenance 12 - Other
outages. This will require careful 20
analysis of damage, determination
of the underlying mechanism,
correction of the root cause and 15
choice of the appropriate actions to
avoid reoccurrence—the topics of
this book. 10

1.3 Objectives of this Book 5

The importance of operator and 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
maintainer training, experience, and
commitment to the health of the unit 0
Plant Problems
cannot be overemphasized.14 As a
result, the primary objective of this
book is to compile the most recent
Figure 1-1. Relation between various plant problems and blade failures.
knowledge about turbine steam Source: R.C. Bates, F.J. Heymann, V.P. Swaminathan, and J.W. Cunningham13
path damage: identifying the under-
lying mechanisms, determining their
root cause, and choosing immediate 1.4 Scope of Coverage lacing/tiewires, shrouds and tenons.
and longterm actions to lessen or This book contains the damage Many of the damage forms covered
prevent recurrence of the problem. mechanisms affecting the turbine also affect seals, valves, and piping
Additional objectives are: steam path in fossil fuel and nuclear systems (such as bypasses and
power plants. For the first time crossover/crossunder piping) and
• To provide direct, easy-to-follow
mechanical aspects have been such coverage is delineated in each
actions to be taken if steam path
linked with chemical environment chapter on damage types. However,
damage has occurred.
factors to provide an understanding seals, valves and piping are also
• To provide guidance that can of the key steam path damage affected by damage types not rele-
help identify unit “precursors” that types. This book also takes a “unit vant to blades; where this is the
might warn of accumulating dam- wide” view of turbine damage. case, these damage types have not
age in the turbine. Many problems that occur in the been included in the book.
• To provide sufficient background turbine do not originate there; There is also no specific coverage
information so that the reader can understanding how to avoid these of rotor or disc damage mecha-
readily understand what causes problems requires a much wider nisms, except in the disc rim attach-
the underlying damage. view of what is occurring through- ment area (steam path). However,
out the unit. much of the discussion of creep
• To provide information about how
to establish a company-wide pro- Extensive coverage is provided of (Chapter 15) and stress corrosion
gram for the correction, preven- damage to blade attachments cracking (Chapter 25) in the disc
tion and control of steam path (blade root and disc/rotor attach- rim attachment region will be rele-
damage. ment areas), roots, airfoils,

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 1-3

vant to other rotor/disc problems. turbine casing damage and control. plants, the information contained
Other compilations of detailed infor- For exhaust hoods, only flow- here will also be relevant to some of
mation are available that do specifi- accelerated corrosion (Chapter 29) the damage mechanisms that affect
cally address the failures and analy- is covered. boiler feedpump turbines, combined
sis of these components.15,16 cycle and geothermal plants. Table
Although the specific focus and
Similarly reference can be made to 1-1 indicates the applicability of the
examples are steam turbine blades
(ref. 15) for information pertaining to mechanisms for various units.
in traditional fossil fuel and nuclear

Table 1-1
Relevance of Damage Mechanism to Various Unit Types
Damage Mechanism Chapter Traditional Nuclear Nuclear Boiler feedpump Combined Geothermal
Fossil-Fuel (BWR) (PWR) turbines in Cycle Units
co-generation units

Creep and creep-fatigue in 15 x n.k. n.k. x x n.k.

blade attachment of rotors

Creep and creep-fatigue 16 x n.k. n.k. x x n.k.

in blades

Solid particle erosion 17 xx A few reports A few reports n.k. n.k. xx

of a problem of a problem

Copper deposition 19 xx n.k. n.k. x n.k. silica, sulfur and

others, not copper

Fatigue (LP) 20 xx x x x x n.k.

Fatigue (HP) 21 x x x x x n.k.

Localized corrosion 23 xx xx xx x x xx

Corrosion fatigue 24 xx xx xx x x xx

Stress corrosion cracking 25 xx xx xx n.k. n.k. xx

in disc-rim attachments

Stress corrosion cracking 26 x x x n.k. n.k. xx

in blading

Liquid droplet erosion 27 xx xx xx x xx

Water induction 28 xx xx xx x x x

Flow-accelerated corrosion 29 x xx xx x x x

Fretting 31 x x x x x x

Overheating by windage 32 x unc. unc. unc. unc. unc.

“xx” indicates damage commonly found or is a major problem when found in these units;
“x” indicates damage can be found in these units or is a lesser problem.
“n.k.” indicates damage is unknown to have occurred in this unit type.
“unc.” indicates damage is uncommon in this type of unit.

1-4 Introduction and Background

1.5 Organization of this Book liquid films form on steam path 1.5.3 What are the “Indications That
surfaces? (Chapter 8). This Damage Mechanism is Active”
1.5.1 Coverage of Volume 1 – and why are they important? A criti-
Theory and Background. Volume 1 • What monitoring and diagnostic
cal aid in anticipating and confirm-
is organized by generic topic. It systems are available that can
ing the presence of turbine steam
contains discussion of the following help detect incipient blade fail-
path damage is Section 1.3 of each
broad topics relevant to the analysis, ures and prevent their occur-
chapter titled “Indications that this
understanding, prevention, or cor- rence? (Chapter 10).
damage mechanism is active”. A
rection of steam path damage • How can damage to turbine few words will clarify the use and
mechanisms: blades be detected by the use importance of this material.
• What thermodynamic principles of nondestructive examination
There are some steam path loca-
govern the operation of fossil and methods? (Chapter 11).
tions that are accessible by
nuclear steam turbines and how • How can company-wide pro- borescope or fiberoptics, however,
do the steam conditions that grams be set up for the preven- with a few exceptions, direct obser-
result influence steam path dam- tion and control of steam path vation of developing damage is not
age? (Chapter 2). damage? What steps can be possible. Once the turbine is
• What are the generic design fea- taken to extend the period opened, the standard methods of
tures and construction fundamen- between planned outages? examination can be used to charac-
tals of steam turbines and their (Chapter 12). terize the extent of damage.
constituent components? • What methods are available for Fortunately, for most mechanisms
(Chapter 3). blade damage repair? there are some key operational
(Chapter 13). observations that may allow the
• What are the features and materi-
operator to determine that damage
als of construction for turbine
1.5.2 Coverage of Volume 2 – is accumulating without opening the
blading? (Chapter 4).
Damage Mechanisms. In contrast to turbine.
• What are the loads that affect tur- Volume 1, the second volume is Means of appraisal, without and with
bine blades; which stresses and organized by specific damage opening the turbine are compiled in
vibrational modes develop as a mechanism. Each chapter in each chapter of Volume 2. These
result of those loads? (Chapter 5). Volume 2 is organized in the same are called “indications that this dam-
• What are the generic life assess- manner, with only a few exceptions age mechanism is active”. These
ment methodologies that can be for mechanisms that occur infre- indicators thus provide a way to
applied to determine remaining quently, or for which the mechanism, anticipate that damage is accumu-
blade life? (Chapter 6). cause and required actions are lating prior to a turbine overhaul.
obvious. The first half of each chap-
• What are the environmental 1.5.4 What are unit “Precursors”
ter provides Theory and Back-
influences that affect turbine and why are they useful? The sec-
ground; the second half Actions.
steam path damage? (Chapters ond means of anticipating turbine
7 and 8). The Actions are intended to stand damage is by paying close attention
alone and therefore typically sum- to unit “precursors”. Precursors are
• How do steam impurities originate
marize all key information from the events or conditions that have
and become transported to the
Theory and Background (front mate- occurred in some component or
turbine? How are turbine impurity
rial) in a manner that can be used system in the unit outside the tur-
levels used to set overall unit
as a checklist for activity. Reading bine which, although no damage is
cycle chemistry guidelines, and
the front material for an understand- known in the turbine, should act as
what are the latest guidelines for
ing of why those actions are recom- a signal to evaluate the potential for
fossil and nuclear units for boiler
mended or for more complete detail future turbine damage. Section 1.4
water and feedwater? How does
on a particular action is probably in each major chapter of Volume 2
unit layup affect turbine steam
indicated, at least during the first includes unit precursors relevant to
path damage and what is the lat-
evaluation of a new damage type. a specific damage mechanism.
est guidance pertaining to opti-
A detailed discussion of the pur-
mized layup? (Chapter 7) Table 14-1 summarizes all “precur-
pose and content of the Theory
• How do impurities concentrate in and Background and Actions por- sors” and “indicators” that can be
the turbine through droplet forma- tions of each chapter is provided used without opening the turbine to
tion, liquid film formation, conden- in the introduction to Volume 2 detect damage. The purpose of
sation, and deposition? How do (Chapter 14). that table is to point the way to the
relevant chapter in Volume 2 where

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 1-5

specific actions to follow up on the answer the question: “How can we in the industry today. Even a cur-
observation are detailed. detect this type of damage earlier sory glance at the descriptions
next time?”. for individual mechanisms in
It may seem that the turbine condi-
Volume 2 will reveal that for much
tion assessment team (T-CAT) has 1.5.5 The investigation process:
of the potential damage done to
enough to be concerned with, with- using Volume 2. Figure 1-2 provides
the steam path, the simplest, and
out anticipating damage. However, a flowchart for the investigation of
most cost effective means of pre-
there are valid economic reasons to turbine blading damage or failures.
vention lies in one of the cycle
worry about indications of develop- As shown, there are three avenues
chemistry control options.
ing damage, and precursors in the open to the investigator or T-CAT
unit that may indicate the potential depending on the status of the blad- It is interesting to plot the location
for damage. These anticipatory ing event: in the steam path where various
steps will become increasingly substances begin to deposit and
• A: “Turbine Not Opened, Damage
important as utilities strive for longer where selected damage mecha-
Indicator Found”. The turbine is
(up to 12 year) periods between nisms occur. This has been
unopened, but an “indicator” has
scheduled overhauls. done in Figure 1-3 which shows a
provided an alert that damage is
schematic of the steam path
The T-CAT may find that the best accumulating in the turbine.
through an LP turbine starting at
way to utilize Table 14-1 is to period- Table 14-1 can be used to point
the inlet. The points on the
ically work through each listed pre- the investigator toward the cor-
Mollier (enthalpy-entropy) dia-
cursor and query: “Has this precur- rect mechanism.
sor/ indicator occurred in our unit?” gram at which various damage
• B: “Turbine Open, Damage Found mechanisms occur are shown.
If the answer to either is “yes”, then by Inspection”. The turbine is There have been a number of
a review of the mechanism(s) indi- open and damage has been recent advances in understand-
cated in the final column may be
found. In this case, Table 14-2 ing how impurities are trans-
needed to determine whether further
which lists the key features of ported by steam to the turbine,
actions are required.
damage for each mechanism can how they concentration as a
In compiling Table 14-1, an attempt be used to help identify the rele- result of numerous mechanisms,
has been made to limit the “precur- vant chapters to review. and what their effects on the tur-
sor” and “indicator” list to those bine are (Chapter 8).
• C: “Unit Precursor Observed”.
which: (i) can be easily identified, (ii) Table 14-1 can be used to deter- The formation of droplets them-
are important observations and will mine which mechanism may selves as steam flows through the
be useful for indicating a potential result from this precursor. turbine has a significant effect on
turbine blading problem, (iii) are not
As shown in Figure 1-2, each of the efficiency and economics of
direct observations of turbine dam-
these three paths is the first step in turbine performance. The basic
age (e.g., an inspection that finds
a series of actions that will eventu- processes of droplet formation
cracks in the turbine blade is not
ally work through confirmation of have also been undergoing a
included in this table), and (iv) are
mechanism, determination of root substantial research effort; results
reasonably likely to lead to a failure
cause, and taking short and long- are discussed in Chapter 8.
in the steam path based on histori-
cal evidence. term actions to prevent or minimize • Development of techniques to
future damage by this mechanism. improve flows, reduce losses and
As a final note, Table 14-1 should
improve the efficiency of turbine
not preempt good engineering judg-
1.6 Recent Developments in the operation. There have been con-
ment: if you have an indicator show-
ing turbine damage may be accu- Identification, Correction and tinuous innovations that have
mulating, or if you have discovered Prevention of Steam Path Damage improved turbine performance.17
Recent developments in three
a condition elsewhere in the unit that • Advances in characterizing the
dimensional computational fluid
causes a concern that damage may steam environment. There are
dynamics (CFD) programs
develop, then follow it up, even if it many turbine steam path damage
(Chapter 5) have allowed for the
is not in these particular lists. One mechanisms that are directly
optimization of flow path compo-
of the outcomes of every damage caused by, or significantly influ-
nents using tools not available
assessment conducted in your units enced by, cycle chemistry, Table
when the majority of units were
should be the automatic addition to 1-2. Among those damage
designed. These tools include:
these tables of an entry that can mechanisms are some of the
leading causes of availability loss three dimensional flow analyses,
and analysis of condensing flows,

1-6 Introduction and Background

A: B: C:
Turbine not opened, Turbine open, Unit precursor
damage indicator found damage found by inspection observed

Review Table 14-1 of indicators to Review Table 14-2 of damage

tentatively identify active damage appearance and location to Review Table 14-1
mechanism. Review relevant tentatively identify damage
chapter in Volume 2. mechanism

Action 1a: Perform Action 1b: Review list of

Action to Confirm precursors in chapters of
This Indicator, located as Action potential damage mechanism.
1a in each mechanism chapter.

Is damage indicator sufficiently Action 2: Was precursor event or finding

severe so as to indicate the Y Determine (confirm) Y sufficiently severe so as to indicate
need for immediate or accelerated mechanism. the need for immediate or
turbine outage? accelerated turbine outage?

Note need to check all susceptible Action 3: Note need to check all susceptible
locations (see individual chapters) Determine root locations (see individual chapters)
for signs of damage during next cause for signs of damage during next
scheduled outage. scheduled outage.

Action 4: Determine
extent of damage or

Action 5: Implement
repairs, take immediate actions,
as needed.

Action 6: Implement
longterm solutions to prevent
or minimize damage.

Action 7: Determine possible

ramifications/ancillary unit

Figure 1-2. Turbine damage investigation flowchart.

presently two dimensional with oped by all major manufacturers and (iii) improved moisture
three dimensional programs in worldwide. Examples include (i) removal techniques. Improve-
development. Efficiency gains of increasing the length of last stage ments in reliability include
3-10% can be achieved.17 blades, (ii) improved three dimen- increased use of long arc, contin-
sional design of blades, such as uous tie arrangements and inte-
• Modifications to blading design.
by including leaned or bowed gral covered blading.18 Blade
Numerous efficiency improve-
(radial) variations in LP blades,
ments to blades have been devel-

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 1-7

Table 1-2
Turbine Steam Path Mechanisms Influenced by Cycle Chemistry
Mechanism Role of Chemistry/Moisture Affected Affected Chapter
Units Turbine Sections

Localized corrosion Impurity transport from the condensate, transport, and volatilization of Nuclear LP 23
(pitting and crevice the impurity into steam and its condensation and concentration in liquid Fossil LP
corrosion) films on the blade & disc surfaces which during “moist” shutdown
conditions lead to localized corrosion and pitting.

Stress corrosion Impurity transport from the condensate, transport, and volatilization of Nuclear LP 25
cracking of disc the impurity into steam and its condensation and concentration in liquid Fossil LP
attachments films on the blade & disc surfaces. Pitting initiated during shutdown.

Stress corrosion Impurity transport from the condensate, transport, and volatilization of Nuclear LP 26
cracking/ corrosion the impurity into steam and its condensation and concentration in liquid Fossil LP
fatigue of blades films on the blade & disc surfaces. Pitting initiated during shutdown.

Deposition on LP Impurity transport from the condensate, transport, and volatilization of Mostly fossil LP
blades the impurity into steam and its condensation and concentration in liquid Some nuclear LP
films on the blade & disc surfaces

Copper deposition Feedwater corrosion of copper alloys, transport and volatility of copper Fossil HP; IP 19
and its oxides into steam.

Condensation Moisture nucleation is affected by impurity transport and the Nuclear LP

(moisture nucleation) condensation process heavily affects the formation of liquid films on Fossil LP
blades needed for various mechanisms.

Liquid droplet erosion Moisture formation and shedding of liquid films off blades & discs. Nuclear LP 27
Fossil LP

Moisture-related Moisture formation and shedding of liquid films off blades & discs. Nuclear HP, LP 30
(except damage liquid Fossil LP
droplet impact)

Flow-accelerated Acidification of moisture increases flow-accelerated corrosion. Nuclear LP 29

corrosion Fossil Exhaust

“Wet” turbines include LP in fossil units and HP or LP of nuclear units.

design and improvements are sure, velocity, and flow angles are 1.7 Some Challenges that Remain
covered extensively in Chapters now possible. Optical methods • Moving to longer intervals
4 and 5. can be used to measure steam between outages. A significant
wetness fraction and thus calcu- need in today’s competitive cli-
• Improved measurement tech-
late stage enthalpy drops in wet mate is to maximize the interval
niques and instrumentation.
turbine stages.17,19 This devel- between major turbine-generator
Measurement techniques and
opment allows for more accurate inspections and overhauls, while
instrumentation have also greatly
performance testing in LP tur- still operating safely and protect-
improved. For example, inter-
bines and is described in more ing these major plant assets. The
stage traverses to measure pres-
detail in Chapter 10.

1-8 Introduction and Background

most notably improvements to the
efficiency in all turbine stages.
Control of deposition may be
Caustic achieved by several methods
stress Pitting, stress including improved surface finish
corrosion LP corrosion cracking,
cracking inlet and improvements to steam
corrosion fatigue
Salt zone Some disc surfaces
• Modification of the processes of
~30% NaCl nucleation, condensation, and
Cor solution formation of liquid films and

deposition. Significant benefits
n will be achieved if these basic
2% processes can be controlled.
ter Phase transition Efficiency improvements will be
Ero d realized by better control over
sio roplet zone
moisture levels (such as through
4% moisture
moisture removal techniques) and
changing the dynamics of droplet
8% formation.
• Improving flow path design, par-
ticularly of the last stage of the LP
Entropy and in exhaust hoods. It is ironic
that despite the recent advances
in three dimensional aerodynamic
analysis design, the last LP stage
Figure 1-3. Mollier diagram with regions of chemical and corrosion effects. in fossil fired units remains the
Source: O. Jonas and N.F. Rieger12
least thermodynamically efficient
row in the steam path, even
key questions inherent in such a development and verification of though it has the largest available
change are whether existing “on deck” and factory rotor/blad- energy.21 Programs to use
damage can be detected, future ing weld repairs. advanced tools such as three
accumulation predicted and con- dimensional CFD programs to
• Need for better understanding of
trolled. This topic is discussed optimize the design of the flow
the economics needed to justify
in Chapter 12; it represents one path will continue to be devel-
changes in turbine design,
of the development areas that will oped and see an increasingly
materials, and operating practice.
see significant attention in the larger role in the design and retro-
Throughout this book is it noted
next five years. fitting of large steam turbines.
that economic analysis is needed
• Methods to shorten outage peri- in order to properly weigh Improvements in hoods and/or
ods. Continued development of run/repair/ replace options when last row blade performance have
innovative maintenance and steam path damage is found. interactions. Reducing hood loss
inspection approaches will Ultimately, the constraints of a will increase leaving loss and
enable utilities to reduce turbine- particular economic analysis are may increase the loss in last
generator outage time and cost. owner specific. However, there is row exit turning because of jet
Innovations required include: (i) need for more comprehensive deflection. Only a fraction of the
specific techniques to reduce the models that can quickly perform reduced hood loss in the last
duration of the sequence of out- sensitivity studies to key vari- rotating row can be recovered.
age actions, such as quick open- ables. Tools such as the recently Similarly, increased blading effi-
ing/closure techniques, assem- developed TURBO-X20 will pro- ciency also results in increased
bly/disassembly techniques, or vide such capability. exit jet velocity and consequently
advanced bolting and coupling higher hood loss.22 Neither of
• Need for better understanding of
systems, (ii) identification and these tradeoffs implies that there
the fundamentals of the deposition
assessment of innovative in-situ is no improvement in turbine per-
process. Control of deposition
turbine inspection technologies formance.
would lead to significant benefit,
and practices, and (iii) continued

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 1-9

• Moving to advanced steam condi- associated with advanced conditions will tend to exacerbate
tions. Challenges to the integrity steam plant. Such advanced many of the damage types cur-
of the steam path will result from steam conditions may lead to rently affecting the steam path,
the constant push toward more higher thermodynamic efficien- thus imposing greater require-
aggressive operating conditions cies (approaching 50% Rankine ment for the evaluation and con-
such as higher temperatures cycle efficiencies). However, trol of damage.
moving toward advanced steam

1. Zink, J.C., “Steam Turbines Power An Industry”, Power 14. Personal communication between C. Moore (Ontario
Engineering, August, 1996, pp. 24-30. Hydro) and B. Dooley, November, 1998.
2. Stodola, A., Steam Turbines with an Appendix on Gas 15. Parker, J.D., A. McMinn, R.J. Bell, R.H. Richman, W.P.
Turbines and the Future of Heat Engines, 1905 and 1927 McNaughton, J.P. Dimmer, J.E. Damon, and D.S. Galpin,
editions, translated by L.C. Loewenstein, D. Van Nostrand Condition Assessment Guidelines for Fossil Fuel Power
Company, New York, NY, 1945. Plant Components, Topical Report GS-6724, EPRI, Palo
3. Parsons, C.A., “The Steam Turbine”, The Rede Alto, CA, March, 1990.
Lecture, Cambridge University Press, 1911. 16. Steam Turbine Life Assessment, Final Report, TR-
4. Storer, J.D., A Simple History of the Steam Engine, 103619, Volumes 1-5, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, March, 1994.
John Baker, London, 1969. Volume 1: Task 1 - Thermal and Stress Analysis
5. Robinson, E.L, “The Steam Turbine in the United of Rotors
States. III - Developments by the General Electric Co.”, Volume 2: Task 2 - NDE Characterization of Rotors.
Mechanical Engineering, April, 1937. Volume 3: Task 3 - Creep Life Prediction.
6. Kirby, R.S., S. Withington, A.B. Darling and F.G. Volume 4: Task 4 - Fatigue Life Prediction.
Kilgour, Engineering in History, McGraw-Hill, New York, Volume 5: Task 5 - MACH Inspection System User’s
NY, 1956. Manual.
7. Bannister, R.L. and G.J. Silvestri, Jr., “Evolution of the 17. Main Turbine Performance Upgrade Task Group,
Central Station Steam Turbine in the United States”, ASME Main Turbine Performance Upgrade Guideline, Final
Winter Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, November, 1988. Report TR-106230, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, January, 1997.
8. Baumann, K., “Some Recent Developments in Large 18. Ortolano, R.J., “Recent Case Histories in the Inspec-
Steam Turbine Practice”, J. Inst. Elec. Eng., Volume 59, tion, Modification and Repair of Steam Turbine Blading”,
1921, p. 565. ASME Bk No. H00652, 1991 International Joint Power
Generation Conference, San Diego, CA, October, 1991.
9. Höxtermann, E., “Blade Damages in Steam Turbines:
Evaluation of VGB Statistics from 1973 to 1977 and Basic 19. Hesler, S., A. Liberson, R. Maurer, and T. McCloskey,
Comments”, VGB Kraftwekstechnik 59, Number 12, “Optical Probe for Measurement of Steam Wetness
December, 1979. Fraction in LP Turbines”, in EPRI Workshop on Nuclear
Performance (unpublished), held in San Antonio, TX,
10. Dewey, R.P., T.H. McCloskey, and N.F. Rieger, August, 1997.
“Analysis of Steam Turbine Blade Failures in the Utility
Industry”, Paper 83-JPGC-PWR-20, American Society of 20. Dewey, R.P., M.J. Roemer, M.A. Pollard, and T.H.
Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, 1983. McCloskey, “Optimization of Outage Interval for a Large
Steam Turbine Unit”, International Joint Power Generation
11. Leyzerovich, A., Large Power Steam Turbines, Conference, Baltimore, MD, August, 1998.
Volume 1: Design and Operation, Volume 2: Operations,
PennWell Books, Tulsa OK, 1997. 21. McCloskey, T., R. Dewey, S. Hesler, and M. Pollard,
“Low Pressure Steam Turbine Thermal Performance
12. Jonas, O. and N.F. Rieger, Turbine Steam, Chemistry, Improvements”, Thirteenth Annual Plant Performance
and Corrosion, Final Report TR-103738, EPRI, Palo Alto, Enhancement Program, held August 12-14, 1997 in San
CA, August, 1994. Antonio, TX, Plant Support Engineering, EPRI, Charlotte,
13. Bates, R.C., F.J. Heymann, V.P. Swaminathan, and NC, 1997.
J.W. Cunningham, Steam Turbine Blades: Considerations 22. Personal communication between G.J. Silvestri, Jr.
in Design and a Survey of Blade Failures, Final Report and T. McCloskey, October, 1998.
CS-1967, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, August, 1981.

1-10 Introduction and Background

Chapter 2 • Volume 1

Principles and Power
Plant Steam Cycles

2.1 Introduction and Significance law of thermodynamics was discov-

of Challenges Facing Turbine ered by Sadi Carnot. In 1824, in
Components Réflexions sur la puissance motrice
A basic understanding of the ther- du feu et sur les machines propre à
modynamics of the steam turbine is developper cette puissance, Carnot
essential to understanding the root outlined the second law as a theo-
causes of problems in the steam retical limit on the efficiency of
path. There is a controlled and con- reversible cycles. Carnot also dis-
tinual drop of both pressure and covered the first law and a value for
temperature as the working steam the mechanical equivalence of heat
expands through the turbine flow in 1830, but those were unpublished
path. As the pressure is reduced, and lost in his notes until rediscov-
the specific volume and volumetric ery in 1878.6
flow increase. The pressure, tem- Rudolf Clausius generalized
perature, and moisture content of Carnot’s work and by so doing
steam control the efficiency of the began formal thermodynamics.
process and impose severe perfor- Clausius pointed out in 1850 that: “It
mance requirements on turbine is impossible to construct a device
components. There already exist which, when operating in a cycle,
many fundamental and more will produce no effect other than the
advanced texts on thermo- transference of heat from a colder to
dynamics.1-5 This chapter is a hotter body”.7
designed to provide an overview of
the key concepts. “The final acceptance of the new
views was due to the work of two
academic scientists, William
2.2 Review of Thermodynamic Thompson (Lord Kelvin), in his
Principles paper ‘On the Dynamical Equivalent
2.2.1 Historical developments. The of Heat’ and Herman Ludwig
importance of thermodynamics in Ferdinand Helmholtz in his paper
the history of technology cannot be ‘On the Conservation of Force’, who
overstated. Bernal has said: “The fitted them into the accepted
central and most far-reaching dis- scheme of classical physics and
covery in the physical science of the almost succeeded in obscuring the
nineteenth century was that of the fact that a great revolution in human
conservation of energy—the first law thought had been achieved.” 6
of thermodynamics.”6 The second

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-1

2.2.2 First law of thermodynamics. the entropy of a thermodynamic have resulted in improved accuracy,
The first law of thermodynamics or system. Entropy is defined as the speed of calculation and internal
the law of conservation of energy quantity of heat added divided by consistency. However, there are dif-
states that energy can neither be the absolute temperature at which ferences between the two formula-
created nor destroyed. It describes the addition takes place, tions, which need to be considered
the change of energy between 2 dQ
by users. There are differences of
forms (heat to work and work to ∆S = ∫1 (2-4) up to 3.48 kJ/kg (1.5 Btu/lbm) in
heat), and allows for accounting for some values for the latent heat of
the transfer of energy to and from a vaporization, and there are enthalpy
system and changes of energy The second law of thermodynamics differences at various points in the
within a system. One typical form of is the postulate that the entropy of superheat regions of up to 2.32
the first law is: an isolated system cannot decrease, kJ/kg (1 Btu/lbm).9
∆Q = W* + ∆U (2-1) ∆S ≥ 0 (2-5) The most important impact on the
where: power industry is on calculated heat
Processes which would decrease rates. If calculations are made for
∆Q = heat added the same power plant using the IFC-
entropy are therefore not possible;
W* = work processes that increase entropy are 67 and IAPWS-IF97 formulations dif-
∆U = increase in energy ferent values will be obtained for the
storage heat input from the boiler and for
turbine section efficiencies, although
A useful property for flow processes, 2.3 Steam Properties the amount of fuel burned and the
such as in steam turbines, is the The state of steam (single phase) power output do not change. The
concept of enthalpy. Enthalpy per can be completely defined by speci- changes would make the boiler
unit mass is defined as: fying any two of six properties: tem- appear to be more efficient (more
perature, pressure, specific volume, enthalpy added to the turbine cycle
H* ≅ u+ Pν (2-2)
internal energy, enthalpy, and for the same amount of fuel burned),
where: entropy. The first three of these are and decrease the apparent effi-
H* = enthalpy observable; the second three must ciency of the turbine. The total
u = internal energy per unit be calculated. change for a typical 16.55 MPa
of mass (2400 psig), 538°C/538°C
P = pressure 2.3.1 Steam tables and equations. (1000°F/1000°F) unit could be on
ν = volume per unit mass The properties of steam have been the order of 21-26 kJ/kW-hr (~20-25
historically, and continue to be, of Btu/kW-hr). This amount could have
In the case of an ideal flow system tremendous importance. Steam significant consequences to con-
with no heat exchange or change in tables provide compilations of key tract performances for either new
potential or kinetic energy, the work steam properties derived from the plant or for changes to existing
done by the system is the change in governing equations. The steam plant. It is therefore recommended
enthalpy between two states: tables contain such variables as that designers, vendors and pur-
pressure, corresponding saturation chasers avoid mixing results calcu-
W* = ∆h (2-3) temperature, specific volume, heat lated from the two formulations, and
of the liquid, latent heat, and explicitly state which formulation is
2.2.3 Second law of thermo- internal energy. being used. Specifically, “a unit
dynamics. Simply stated, the sec- The documentation of those proper- tested with IAPWS-IF97 properties
ond law of thermodynamics is that ties continues under the auspices of cannot be expected to meet guar-
not all of a given quantity of heat the International Association for the antees of specifications calculated
can be converted to useful work. Properties of Water and Steam using IFC-67”.9
The second law of thermodynamics (IAPWS). The most recent official
places strong limits on the available compilation is the Release on the 2.3.2 Process representations.
performance of any heat engine IAPWS Industrial Formulation 1997 Process representations provide
including a steam turbine. For for the Thermodynamic Properties of information about key thermody-
example, one of the implications of Water and Steam (IAPWS-IF97).8 namic variables during a cycle. Two
the second law is that all real cycles These tables have replaced the valuable process representations for
must reject heat. The second law is 1967 Formulation for Industrial Use the analysis of thermodynamic
typically discussed by considering (IFC-67), which was the basis for the cycles in steam turbines are the
ASME Steam Tables. The changes

2-2 Thermodynamic Principles

temperature-entropy diagram and quality) line and the saturated vapor defined by the critical pressure
the enthalpy-entropy (Mollier) (100% quality) lines. For steam con- 22.12 MPa (3208.2 psi) and temper-
diagram. ditions falling under the dome there ature 374.15°C (705.47°F). Two
will be a two phase system; in this other regions can be defined.
The temperature-entropy (T-s)
region pressure is fixed for a given Subcooled liquid is represented by
diagram for steam is shown in
temperature, independent of the region of the diagram to the
Figure 2-1. In the central part of the
quality.7 The point at the top of the left of the saturated liquid line and
figure is the “steam dome” which is
steam dome is the critical point below the critical pressures. At
formed by the saturated liquid (0%

Temperature, °F

Enthalpy, Btu/lbm




800 Pressure, psia 50


Steam dome


300 0


10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90

Quality, %





300 Enthalpy


100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8
Entropy, s, Btu/lbm °R

Figure 2-1. Temperature-entropy diagram for steam. [(T °F - 32)/1.8 = °C; Btu/lbm °R x 4.1869 = kJ/kg °C].

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-3

1 3 5

Economizer, Reheaters
boiler and
superheater 2 4
10 heating
9 Feedwater pump
8 heating
Condensate pump
t 7 6
(a) Turbines operating predominantly
in the superheated steam region
with reheat

1 1 4
Steam Moisture Steam Moisture
generator separator generator separator 3 Reheaters
11 Feedwater 2 3 11 Feedwater 2
10 heating 10 heating
9 Feedwater pump 9 Feedwater pump

8 Condensate heating 8 Condensate heating

Condensate pump Condensate pump
t 7 6 t 7 6
s s
(b) Temperature-entropy diagram (c) Temperature-entropy diagram
without reheat with reheat

(b and c) Turbines operating predominantly in the wet-steam region

Figure 2-2. Typical turbine cycles plotted on temperature-entropy diagrams. Source: ASME PTC-610

temperatures above the critical ing predominantly in the super- namic cycles; it will provide the
point only a single phase exists heated steam region, (b) without background for several discussions
independent of pressure; the vapor reheat, and (c) with reheat. in this book. Lines of constant pres-
is superheated and the temperature sure run diagonally across the dia-
The enthalpy-entropy (h-s) diagram
elevation above the corresponding gram from the lower left to upper
or Mollier diagram for steam is
saturation temperature is termed right. Along those lines of constant
shown in Figure 2-3. The Mollier
the superheat. pressure, at any point, the values of
diagram, developed by Professor
the corresponding enthalpy and
Figure 2-2 shows schematically, Mollier at Dresden University circa
entropy can be read. Vertical dis-
temperature-entropy diagrams for 189811, is used extensively as an
tances on the diagram (changes in
three power plant cycles: (a) operat- aid to understanding thermody-

2-4 Thermodynamic Principles

Enthalpy, Btu/lbm
Temperature, °F 60

Superheat, °F 0













Steam dome

1200 Sat 300

.69 20





400 psia superheat

1050 moisture %
Initial pressure, 1500 psia

Initial pressure, 400 psia







1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0
Entropy, s, Btu/lbm °R

Figure 2-3. Enthalpy-entropy (Mollier) diagram of steam. [Btu/lbm °R x 4.1869 = kJ/kg °C;
Btu/lbm x 2.326 = kJ/kg].

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-5

enthalpy) are proportional to the
energy transfer work for a turbine.
They would be identically equal to
the work of the turbine if the turbine
was 100% efficient. However, as
there are losses in real turbines, the
actual work done will be somewhat
less than the difference in enthalpies
between two points. In fact, the def-
inition of the efficiency of a turbine is
the ratio of the work done divided by
the work available. Turbine losses

Temperature, T
are also associated with an increase
in entropy. Turbine efficiency is dis- A D
cussed in more detail in the sections
on steam cycles below.
The saturation line drawn on the
Mollier diagram separates steam
conditions which are superheated
(above and to the right of the satura-
tion line) and “wet” steam (below
and to the left of the saturation
line). The cross-hatched area on
Figure 2-3 is the phase transition
zone (PTZ) which is the below the
saturation lines and at a point where F E
significant condensation will occur, Entropy, s
typically at a moisture level around
1-3%. The actual dynamic conden-
sation process in steam turbines will
be described in greater detail in Figure 2-4. Carnot cycle.
Chapter 8. The Mollier diagram is
an equilibrium or static diagram and temperatures and pressures in the and two isentropic processes. The
does not take into account the cycle, the distribution of the working Carnot cycle is completely rever-
actual dynamic process. fluid and system losses. It is useful sible, has no losses nor increases in
in the analysis of real systems to entropy and therefore represents the
The Mollier diagram is quite useful analyze so-called “ideal” cycles. ideal condition.
for diagnosing the influence of mois- Such analyses provide insights
ture and impurities on various dam- The Carnot efficiency is equal to:
about the upper bounds on effi-
age mechanisms. A first step in the ciency, help characterize losses, and
evaluation of blade damage may provide suggestions for improve-
 T
often be plotting the damage loca- ηCarnot = 1- TA
 (2-6)
ments in real world equipment. B
tion on the Mollier diagram to deter-
Here we examine three such cycles: where:
mine its relationship to the start of
the phase transition zone. the Carnot Cycle, the simple or base TA = temperature into steam
Rankine Cycle and the Regenerative engine
2.4 Steam Cycles – Theory TB = temperature of environment
A power plant cycle is the paths and 2.4.1 Carnot cycle. The Carnot Efficiency will be highest where the
processes through which a working cycle is illustrative because it repre- temperature into the engine is at the
fluid passes, in a cyclic fashion, in sents the upper limit for perfor- highest possible temperature and
the production of power by a prime mance in a real system. The Carnot the rejection is at the lowest possible
mover.1 The efficiency of a power cycle is illustrated on a temperature- temperature. For example for
plant depends on the type of cycle, entropy diagram in Figure 2-4. It TA=1500°F (1960°R) and TB= 60°F
consists of two isothermal processes

2-6 Thermodynamic Principles

(560°R), the maximum thermal effi- because of adiabatic instead of addition (from the boiler), expansion
ciency is approximately 73.5%. No isentropic processes. This effi- of the steam through an engine and
real world devices, which are all ciency differs by machinery type condensation (heat rejection) of the
inherently irreversible, operate at from 60-80% for small, single stage exhaust. The T-s diagram for the
efficiencies as high as the ideal steam turbines up to about 90-95% basic Rankine cycle is shown in
Carnot efficiency. for modern, large steam turbines. Figure 2-5. Heating of the liquid
occurs along the segment AB, BC
The expected efficiency of real 2.4.2 Rankine cycle. The basic is the evaporation to steam, CD the
world energy conversion is also less Rankine cycle was used in power expansion in the turbine and DA is
by an amount known as the isen- plants to early in the twentieth cen- condensation. The efficiency of the
tropic efficiency, that amount by tury. It consists of a single heat
which an actual device output differs

Temperature, °R





t. v

t. l

Condenser pressure




0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6
Entropy, s, Btu/lbm °F

Figure 2-5. Theoretical Rankine cycle, temperature-entropy (T-s) diagram. [(T °F - 32)/1.8 = °C;
Btu/lbm °R x 4.1869 = kJ/kg °C].

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-7

Rankine cycle can be found by there is an increase in exhaust mois- 2.4.4 The regenerative cycle.
dividing the work performed by the ture which lowers the efficiency and Another improvement on the basic
heat added: increases the amount of liquid Rankine cycle is the regenerative
(h - h ) droplet erosion damage. To over- cycle, a form of reheat in which
η= C D (2-7) come these difficulties and also gen- stream extracted from various
(hC - hA)
erate higher cycle efficiencies, the stages of the turbine is transferred to
The Rankine cycle efficiency is a reheat cycle is used. The steam feedwater heaters. Modern conven-
function of the steam conditions in starts at a maximum temperature, tional fossil fuel power plants use
the unit only, including pressure, then it is partially expanded through regeneration to increase the effi-
temperature and exhaust pressure. a turbine section, then is returned to ciency of the cycle. The larger the
The actual or thermal efficiency of a the reheater section of the boiler. number of feedwater heaters, the
power plant is the Rankine efficiency There may be one or more reheats, greater the efficiency of the cycle,
multiplied by the efficiency of the the number being a matter of eco- although the overall economics of
turbine. Because the overall unit nomics and efficiency. The use of the additional equipment and piping
efficiency is a function of both the reheat lead to an increase in operat- limit the practical number of feedwa-
thermodynamic and turbine efficien- ing pressures. This lead to ter heaters used. In heat recovery
cies, an alternative performance cri- increased need for water and steam steam generators (HRSGs) there are
terion has been established related purity, as described in detail in usually no feedwater heaters.
to heat rates. The heat rate is the Chapter 7. The manner in which the improve-
ratio of the heat supplied to the tur-
In a typical steam turbine unit, going ment of efficiency is obtained, can
bine (or plant) divided by the output
to a single reheat Rankine cycle be seen by reference to Figure 2-6.
of the generator (or plant).
increases the efficiency (decreases The figure is the temperature-
The earliest plants used an open the heat rate) by about 4-6 percent.1 entropy plane. The Rankine cycle is
thermodynamic steam cycle, thus a Heat rate is a measure of fuel econ- ABCDA made up of three reversible
primary problem was with contami- omy in a unit and can be defined as: processes: isothermals BC and DA
nants in the water supply. Control and the isentropic CD and the irre-
methods included water treatment Plant heat rate =
versible heating process, AB. If the
and boiler blowdown. Evolution to a Heat equivalent of fuel burned irreversible process AB could be
closed cycle lead to easier and bet- Net useful kWhr generated made reversible, then the cycle
ter control of water/steam purity. would have Carnot efficiency.1
There were two other considerable Regeneration allows part of the tur-
problems with the basic Rankine bine heat to be used to heat the
cycle. The moisture in the exhaust 3412.14 BTU feedwater. As shown in Figure 2-6,
η= kWhr
was high, which decreased overall x 100% the steam at C is first partially
Heat rate
efficiency and lead to significant expanded through the turbine. An
blade erosion. The second draw- (2-9) extraction reduces the energy from
back was the low efficiencies Another advantage is that the steam 1 to 2 and that energy is used to
obtained which were caused by the going through later stages of the tur- heat the feedwater from 11 to 12
non-equilibrium heating of the com- bine is at a higher temperature and (the temperature for points 1, 2).
pressed liquid along AB. The solu- thus lower moisture content (with the Similarly, after the next incremental
tion to these problems was to evolve double benefit of higher efficiencies expansion through turbine from 2 to
to a regenerative (with reheat) and less moisture induced damage). 3, extraction can be used to heat
Rankine cycle. Double reheating provides an addi- feedwater from 10 to 11. In the limit
tional improvement in efficiency, typi- of smallest steps, the heating
2.4.3 Reheat. The efficiency of the cally about one half of the improve- process is as small as possible
Rankine cycle is highest for the ment seen in going from no reheat approaching a reversible process as
highest inlet temperatures. to a single reheat.7 In order to avoid the temperature difference between
However, there are limitations to how superheated exhaust, it is necessary the extracted steam and fluid to be
high a temperature can be used, to go to higher throttle pressures heated is zero. In the limit, as lines
such as material capability. Further, and as a result in practice double AB and EC become parallel, the effi-
when pressures are raised to reheat has been used only in those ciency of this cycle becomes that of
increase the work that can be done, plants with supercritical throttle the ideal Carnot cycle.

2-8 Thermodynamic Principles

538°C/538°C (1000°F/1000°F) for
single reheat and 23.13 MPa (3500
psi), 538°C/551°C/565°C
(1000°F/1025°F/1050°F) for double
reheat units.
2 1
4 3 2.5 Turbine Efficiency and
11 Overview of Losses
6 5
10 Fundamental to understanding the
8 7 effect of many of the damage mech-
anisms described in Volume 2 is
E D understanding how the damage cre-
ates efficiency losses in the turbine.
At some stage in the analysis of
repair and prevention strategies, an
economic analysis will be required.
Being able to calculate the relevant
thermodynamic losses and to pre-
dict the likely magnitude of the
F J G H changes in those losses will be cen-
tral to such an economic analysis
Total Entropy, S and will help determine which
options are viable.

Figure 2-6. Diagram of a saturated steam regenerative cycle. Source: J.K. Salisbury1 As befits the central importance of
thermodynamic losses in turbine
design, maintenance, and operation,
2.4.5 Use of superheat. If super- mined by the properties of the boiler there are numerous references
heated steam is used, the thermal materials, specifically the creep and describing the contributions in great
and aerodynamic efficiencies of the thermal fatigue resistance of the detail.1,4,12,13
cycle are improved and the moisture superheater tube materials used.
content of the steam is reduced. Higher pressures that result with Three groups of losses can be con-
The improvement in the thermal effi- higher superheat temperatures also sidered: pressure drop losses that
ciency of the cycle by the use of result in thicker tube walls which occur with the passage of steam
superheating can be seen on Figure slows unit startup and load chang- through valves, piping and exhaust
2-5; the segment CL is the super- ing, and greatly affects the thermal between sections, turbine section
heated portion of the cycle. fatigue life of the component. losses, and individual turbine stage
losses. Tables 2-1, 2-2 and 2-3,
Limits to the level of superheating Typical supercritical unit conditions respectively, summarize the various
that can be used are primarily deter- are 23.13 MPa (3500 psi) and losses of each type.
Figure 2-7 shows that the relative
Table 2-1 mix and magnitude of losses varies
Pressure Drop Losses
by stage.14 The figure shows major
Source Pressure Drop Heat Rate Loss losses for a typical 700 MW single
reheat turbine. Note that adding up
Drop in throttle steam passing through stop and control 4% 0.4% the losses in individual stages, when
valves to HP turbine. varying the losses of only a single
stage at a time, overstates the
Reheat losses—in reheater and in piping to and from reheater. 7-10% 0.7-1.0% power loss as compared to when
two or more stages are evaluated
Return from reheater to IP through stop and intercept valve. 2% 0.2% simultaneously.15 This is because of
the reheat effect in the stages follow-
Crossover losses from IP to LP including IP exhaust hood loss, 3% 0.3% ing the degraded stages.15
crossover piping loss and loss on entrance to LP.

Adapted from K. Cotton 4

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-9

Table 2-2
Turbine Section Losses
Type Description

Nozzle end loss Small loss that occurs when partial arc admission is used. The steam entrapped in rotating blades as it passes by inactive
arcs must be accelerated from rest when the blade passes by an active arc.

Moisture (or wetness) loss Moisture results in an approximately 1% decrease in the LP efficiency for every 1% increase in moisture level. This
occurs because of both thermodynamic (a supersaturation effect) and mechanical effects as shown in Figure 2-16.
As droplets, liquid films and trailing edge turbulence increase, the moisture or wetness losses increase with a corre-
sponding decrease in efficiency. Chapter 8 describes these effects in more detail.

Exhaust loss Two components make up the exhaust loss:

• the leaving loss is the kinetic energy leaving the last stage as velocity in the steam
• the hood loss is the pressure drop of the steam through the exhaust hood.

Windage loss As the turbine rotates through steam, there is a loss due to windage (essentially friction with the steam) that is propor-
tional to the density of the steam and the cube of the velocity. Can occur by passage of blade or of the disc (in impulse
design) through the steam. A blade damage type caused by windage is overheating under conditions of low flow and
high backpressure and is described in Chapter 32.

2.5.1 Pressure drop losses.

Table 2-1 summarizes the pressure
drops that occur during the passage Total to Nozzle profile Nozzle leakage
of steam through valves, piping and total stage Nozzle secondary Miscellaneous
exhaust. The rule of thumb is that enthalpy Blade profile Partial admission
loss Blade secondary Moisture
every 1% pressure reduction results Tip leakage Leaving loss
in a reduced heat rate of about 0.1% 0.25
in a fossil unit and 0.15% in a
Loss Coefficient

nuclear unit.4 0.20 High Intermediate Low

pressure pressure pressure
section section section
2.5.2 Turbine section losses. 0.15
Typical turbine section losses are
summarized in Table 2-2. 0.10

2.5.3 Turbine stage losses. The 0.05

primary determination of overall
turbine-generator efficiency is the
efficiencies of the individual turbine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
stages. The ideal stage efficiency Stage Number
is the ratio of the energy of steam
converted into mechanical work to
the available energy in a given Figure 2-7. Losses by stage and section for a 700 MW single reheat turbine.
Source: Toshiba14
stage assuming all other losses are
zero. Table 2-3 provides a summary
of key stage losses (note that termi-
nology differs between various man-
ufacturers and authors).

2-10 Thermodynamic Principles

Table 2-3
Turbine Stage Losses
Type Description

Friction losses (also called profile losses) in Boundary layer losses caused by flow over blade surfaces. About 2% each for rotating and
stationary and rotating blades. stationary blades. There are also losses of profile, such as by erosion which change blade angles
and also have a detrimental effect on efficiency.

Blade/bucket surface finish friction loss Roughening of blade surfaces can lead to significant losses. Figure 2-10 shows loss in stage
efficiency for rough surfaces.

Deviation from optimal velocity ratio This category includes a number of design or operating changes:
• tradeoffs in initial design
• changes in stage pressure from optimal. These can be caused by changes in blade areas as a
result of damage, or by operating changes such as feedwater heaters out of service, changes in
extractions, etc.

Secondary or endwall loss Losses caused by formation of vortices that form at inner and outer sidewalls of nozzles and blade
passages. It is a boundary layer effect similar to friction losses on the blade.

Leakage losses

• rotating blade/bucket tip leakage Leakage past the rotating blade/bucket between the blade and casing. Depends on steam conditions,
pressure drop across the tip of the blade, axial and radial clearances, and type of tip leakage control.
Partially overcome by the use of interstage seals.

• diaphragm shaft packing leakage Leakage that bypasses the stationary blade/nozzle by leaking between the diaphragm or nozzles and
(also called interstage packing leakage) rotor. Labyrinth packing is installed to reduce this leakage. There are two efficiency losses here—the
amount of flow that is diverted and the disturbance to the balance of the main flow when the leakage
flow reenters.

• rotating blade/bucket root leakage See Figures 2-8 and 2-9.

• shaft end packing leakage Leakage to gland condenser/atmosphere.

• leakage past sleeve (snout) rings Clearance between inner and outer cylinders.

Tiewires (Lacing wires) Tiewires used to stiffen LP blades block part of the flow passage and thus create a loss in the
affected stages.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-11

A survey of 31 steam path audits such as mid-span balance hole Typical stage reactions at the mean
indicated average section efficiency plugs, inner shell, and seal rings. diameter of low reaction blading in
deterioration was 12.5% for the HP, intermediate pressure turbines are
Figures 2-8 and 2-9 show typical
9.1% for the IP, and 3% for the LP.16 about 30 to 35%.15
leakage paths in impulse and reac-
Most of the total loss in these tur- tion designs, respectively. Losses Surface roughening occurs as a
bines was caused by either leakage from leakage steam reentry between result of (i) deposits, (ii) solid parti-
(about 50% of the total) or surface the stationary and rotating rows of a cle erosion, and (iii) steam path
roughness (about 36% of the low reaction stage will be higher damage such as weld beads, tools,
total).16 The worst leakage losses than on a conventional reaction thick deposits, and profile losses.
were from (i) radial spill strips, tip stage.15 Impulse style blading The calculated percent change in
seals or shroud seals, (ii) diaphragm have increased base section reac- turbine efficiency by stage as a
packing or interstage shaft packing, tions to prevent the reentry of leak- function of surface finish is shown
(iii) end packing or shaft packing, age steam between the stationary in Figure 2-10.
and (iv) miscellaneous leakages and rotating blades of a stage. 15

Bucket tip leakage

Bucket root

hole flow

Diaphragm packing leakage

Figure 2-8. Leakage losses - Impulse wheel and diaphragm construction. Source: P. Schofield12

2-12 Thermodynamic Principles

Bucket tip

Bucket root

packing leakage

Figure 2-9. Leakage losses - Reaction drum rotor construction. Source: P. Schofield12

2.5.4 Maximum load testing. for accurate results, one needs to the distribution of wetness at the
A maximum load test can be used have accurate measurements of the interstage and turbine exhaust
as a simple indicator of efficiency. pressures and temperatures at the planes. That data, when combined
inlet and outlet of the stage. with aerodynamic data can quantify
2.5.5 Measuring changes in stage the LP discharge mass flow, flow-
efficiency. An enthalpy drop test Enthalpy drops for the HP and IP
weighted total/static pressure, and
can provide a simple check on the sections of the turbine are fixed by
turbine exhaust state point.17 From
condition of turbine nozzles and known temperatures and pressures,
the state point, the thermodynamic
blades. Plots of stage efficiency whereas that for the LP is not. Until
efficiency of the last stage and/or
and stage pressure ratio can reveal recently there has been no means to
entire LP cylinder can be deter-
nozzle and/or blade erosion or foul- measure the wetness of the inter-
mined. This allows for baseline data
ing. Measurement of the turbine stage and exhaust steam and thus
LP turbine power and efficiency to be established in an efficiency or
section efficiency by an enthalpy flow path improvement project.
drop test is the most simple and could only be inferred indirectly from
a heat balance calculation. Stage efficiency testing is discussed
useful test of turbine stages operat- in more detail in Chapter 10.
ing in the superheated steam region; However, wetness probes have now
been developed that can measure

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-13

2.6 Steam Cycles – Practice
2 Components of a power plant can
Reaction design be divided into heat sources (the
6.3 fs
1 Impulse design boiler or steam generator) and the
6.3 fs turbine cycle. The turbine cycle
includes the turbine, generator, con-
0 denser, pumps and feedwater
Percent Change in Turgine Efficiency

-1 HP
2.6.1 Fossil power plant cycles –
illustrative example. Figure 2-11
-2 shows a typical turbine - heater
cycle in a fossil fuel power plant. In
-3 this example the turbine has high
pressure (HP), intermediate pressure
(IP) and low pressure (LP) sections.
Also shown are a typical feedwater
0 heater arrangement, the condenser,
and the auxiliary turbine. Figure
-1 2-12 shows the superposition of the
IP steam cycle for this unit on an out-
line of the Mollier diagram. A few
-2 pressure curves are shown as dot-
ted lines. The saturation line is
-3 shown as a solid line and located
approximately in the middle of the
0 100 200 300 400 500
Figure 2-10. Percent change in turbine
Surface Finish fs , µinch efficiency for HP, IP and LP turbines as a
function of surface finish. [ µ inch x 2.92
x 10 -8 = m]. Source: EPRI WO 8309-1

From reheater Feed pump

Auxiliary turbine
From boiler
2 flow L.P. turbine
H.P. I.P. Generator
turbine turbine
To air
Reheater preheater
Feedwater Makeup
heater Condenser
To (typical) Deaerator


Figure 2-11. Typical fossil fuel power plant turbine-heater cycle.

2-14 Thermodynamic Principles

figure. The expansions through
various cycles are shown with solid
lines. The lines for expansion
through fossil fuel HP, IP and LP 2415 psia 600
turbines are in the upper part of the psia
figure. Typical efficiencies for each
of these turbine sections and ηHP
typical nuclear reheat and non- 80-88%
reheat cycles are also shown on
Figure 2-12.
Note that unlike the idealized regen- reheat
erative Rankine cycle, typical fossil

and nuclear unit cycles are not isen- 1000 ηLP
tropic. This is evidenced by the psia 90-91%
slight slope toward increasing M.S.
entropy during the expansions 90%
through the turbine stages (offset
from vertical lines on the Mollier dia- ηHP ηLP
gram). At the same time, no heat is 82% 87%
added to or rejected from the Saturation
overall cycle, indicating an ηLP line
adiabatic process.
Typical fossil units operate with main Nuclear Nuclear
steam conditions of at 538-566°C non-reheat steam
(1000-1050°F) and pressures typi- reheat
cally in the range 16-20 MPa (2300
to 2900 psi) for subcritical units and
up to 24 MPa (3500 psi) for super-
critical units. Advanced steam con- Figure 2-12. Portion of the Mollier diagram illustrating typical
ditions in fossil fired units, of turbine expansion lines. Source: K. C. Cotton4
increasing interest because of the
potential for greatly improved effi-
ciencies, are typically at 24 MPa 2.6.2 Nuclear power plant cycles – exit wetness ranges typically are
(~3500 psi or 240 bar) and above illustrative example. Typical nuclear 13-17%, with actual values some-
with main and reheat temperatures power plant cycles both pressurized what less because of moisture
of 565°C (1050°F) and above. water reactors (PWR) and boiling removal by drainage devices and
Internationally, units are in operation water reactors (BWR) differ consid- steam extraction.
with steam conditions as high as 31 erably from typical fossil unit cycles.
Peripheral (blade tip) speeds in the
MPa (4500 psi or 310 bar)/565°C This can be seen by reference to
HP turbines of nuclear units range
(1050°F)/656°C (1212°F)/565°C Figure 2-12 which shows the lower
from about 100 to 200 m/s (~ 325 to
(1050°F).18 An example of the effi- pressures and enthalpies of the
650 ft/s) depending on unit size,
ciency improvement has been cited steam in both non-reheat and reheat
rotor speed, and type of blading
by one manufacturer at about 8% for nuclear cycles when compared to
used. These tip speeds are signifi-
a unit at 300 bar/600°C/600°C/600°C fossil units. Nuclear cycles have
cantly slower than in fossil units and
compared to conventional technol- lower steam parameters, typically
as a result there are fewer problems
ogy at 180 bar/540°C/540°C.18 6-7 MPa (870-1015 psi or 60-70 bar)
with liquid droplet erosion than in
and (260-290°C 500-554°F), with
Mass and flow diagrams are used fossil unit LP turbines which have
around 0.25% moisture and very
to summarize key information about approximately the same moisture
large flow rates (approximately 2
the fluid at each point in the cycle. levels, but considerably higher
tons of steam per second in a 1200
Typical mass flow diagrams can be blade tip speeds. Expansion in the
MW plant). In some PWR designs
found in a number of references HP is typically followed by a mois-
steam is produced at slight super-
(see for example, ref. 7). They ture separator; at the exit to the
heat. As a result of these steam
indicate flow rates, pressures, moisture separator, steam quality is
conditions, there is considerable
enthalpy and temperature through- typically close to unity.
difference between the HP turbine of
out the cycle. nuclear and fossil units. Predicted

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-15

P = Pressure, bar
T = Temperature, °C
273T •
582m h = Enthalpy, kJ/kg

m = Mass flow, kg.s-1
Moisture x = Wetness, %
HP separator Reheaters

• 3 LP cylinders
To no. 7 To live Generator
heater steam
Steam reheater
generator drains cooler

953m 976h

LP glands






• Deaerator Polish- Gland
Drains ing steam 539m
201T 178T 156T cooler plant condenser 30t
224T 120T 104T 82T 59T

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Condensate

Live 8 7 6 Feed 4 3 2 1 pump
steam pump
reheater Drain To condenser
drains HP heaters pump LP heaters

Figure 2-13. Schematic diagram of modern PWR secondary circuit and operating conditions for 100% MCR.

Flue gas
to stack

Once through heat recovery

steam generatior
LP steam
LP section
HP steam

HP section
Flue gas

Condenser Electricity turbine and

Condensate Makeup
storage system Air Fuel

HP boiler
feed pump
LP boiler feed

Figure 2-14. Cycle diagram for once-through combustion turbine combined cycle. Source: B. Dooley,
A. Ashoff, M. Ball, F. Pocock, and K.J. Shields20

2-16 Thermodynamic Principles

LP turbines in most nuclear cycles were 6.21 MPa (900 psig) and below available enthalpy means that very
operate under similar moisture con- with temperatures 441°C (825°F) or large flows are necessary. For
ditions to those in fossil units lower, although the trend toward example in a typical 150 MW unit,
because of reheating in the moisture higher levels of each continues. the flow is 952.6 tons/hour.13
separator reheaters (MSR). Last There are now a considerable num-
stage blades typically range from ber of cogeneration steam turbines 2.7 Moisture Limitations
about 900 to 1320 mm (35 to 52 with initial steam pressures in the A practical limit on the usable tem-
inches). Continuing improvements 8.63-10 MPa (1250-1450 psig) peratures and pressures of steam is
in materials and design will almost range and steam temperatures of also imposed by moisture. Severe
certainly allow for progressively 482-510°C (900-950°F). erosion, caused by excessive mois-
longer blades in future machines. ture levels at the inlet to the last few
2.6.4 Combined cycle plants.
A circuit diagram for a state-of- Combined cycle plants use the blade rows, was found in LP blades
the-art nuclear plant is shown in exhaust from advanced gas turbines in early turbine designs and lead to
Figure 2-13. (which is typically in the range a limitation of about 12% on exit wet-
560°C to 600°C (1040°F to 1110°F)) ness.19
2.6.3 Co-generation cycles. In co-
generation cycles, steam is typically to feed a fired or unfired heat recov- Further, the efficiency, η, of the LP
ery steam generator (HRSG) and turbine decreases approximately 1%
generated at a higher temperature
subsequently drive conventional for every 1% increase in wetness in
and pressure than required for a
steam turbines with main and reheat the wet stages. 21 The overall loss
particular industrial process. The
temperatures at 540°C (1000°F) and caused by moisture consists of a
steam is expanded through a tur-
590°C (1100°F), respectively. Flow supersaturation loss and a moisture
bine to produce electricity and the
diagrams for two arrangements are loss as illustrated in Figure 2-16 for
resulting extractions at the dis-
shown in Figures 2-14 and 2-15. results obtained from a development
charge are at the temperature and
pressure required by the process. 2.6.5 Geothermal plants. Steam laboratory LP turbine.4 The super-
Turbines can be condensing or non- conditions (and as a result, efficien- saturation loss occurs because the
condensing design typically with cies) in geothermal plants are usu- expansion in the turbine is more
large mass flows and comparably ally low, typically below 7 MPa (1015 rapid than indicated by equilibrium
low output.7 Traditionally, pressures psi) and 170°C (340°F). The low expansion. Under these conditions,

Deaerator HP SH steam
IP SH steam IP SH steam
To process (if used)
LP SH steam
To steam injection
for combustion turbine
Chemical Chemical Chemical (if used)
feed feed feed

Flue gas LP IP HP Reheater HP IP LP

to stack drum drum drum Steam turbine

Heat Recovery
Steam Condenser
Generator (HRSG)

Flue gas
Pre- Low Intermediate High Supplemental
heater pressure pressure pressure firing (if used)
(LP) section (IP) section (HP) section
Air Fuel

Combustion Electricity
Deaerator LP IP HP Attemperation turbine and Condensate Makeup
pump blowdown blowdown blowdown feed generator storage system

Feedwater Steam injection Water

pump from IP steam injection
NOx control systems (if used)
Condensate Condensate
polisher pump
Chemical (if used)

Figure 2-15. Cycle diagram for combustion turbine/combined cycle with reheat. Source: B. Dooley, A. Ashoff, M. Ball, F. Pocock,
and K.J. Shields20

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-17

Table 2-4
η Wet/η Dry Isentrope Estimated Stage MW Losses Caused by
1.00 the Effects of Moisture
Typical 500 MW Fossil Unit

0.98 Supersaturation loss

Stage Stage Loss (MW)

L-1 0.5
0.96 L-0 3.3
Moisture loss Total 3.8
0.94 Typical 800 MW Nuclear Unit

Stage Stage Loss (MW)

HP-1 -
Wilson line HP-2 1.2
HP-3 2.0
0.90 HP-4 3.0
10 8 6 4 2 0
Weighted Average Moisture HP-5 3.2
HP-6 4.3
Note: “Wilson” line taken to be 3.2% moisture level, therefore HP-7 5.7
corresponding to weighted average of 1.6% (or 3.2%)
Total for HP 19.4

Stage Stage Loss (MW)

Figure 2-16. Test results from laboratory turbine. There is a
supersaturation loss with no moisture loss down to the “Wilson”
line; beyond that there is a moisture loss with no supersaturation LP-1 -
loss. Source: General Electric Company LP-2 -
LP-3 -
LP-4 1.1
the temperature drops much more a cycle that results in about 6-10% LP-5 2.9
rapidly, and there is less available wetness, well within the limits applic- LP-6 6.7
energy than in equilibrium. Beyond able to prevent LP blade erosion. LP-7 7.6
the “Wilson line”, condensation The concern over moisture level LP-8 10.0
occurs and the stage efficiency however continues as:19 Total for LP 28.3
drops by about 0.76% per 1% • Larger unit designs introduced in Source: W. Steltz 22
increase in moisture. The overall the 1960s lead to longer blades
loss introduced from zero moisture and higher blade tip speeds and
to about 8% weighted average mois-
therefore more potential for ero- level of about 5 bar (72.5 psi);
ture including supersaturation loss is sion damage straightforward expansion at the
about 1% per percent of average
moisture. Thus, there is a decrease • Single reheat systems which have vacuum end could raise the level
in the overall efficiency of the LP tur- optimal cycles with higher mois- to 20-25%. As a result, moisture
bine of about 8%. ture levels may be favored over separators are placed between
double reheat systems because the HP and LP, along with
The magnitude of these losses is reheaters to limit the moisture
of economic advantages related
considerable as indicated by Table content at the LP exit.
to the cost of additional equip-
2-4 which provides an estimate of ment, controls, and floor space. The process of condensation as
stage losses caused by the effects
of moisture for a typical 500 MW fos- • Light water reactor (LWR) nuclear steam expands through the turbine
sil unit and for a typical 800 MW units generate saturated, high is discussed in detail in Chapter 8.
nuclear unit. 22 pressure steam for use in the HP Blade erosion in the LP turbine from
turbine. Expansion of even liquid droplet impacts is discussed
Double reheat systems, introduced slightly wet steam results in mois- extensively in Chapter 27.
in the 1950s, operate optimally with ture content of 15% at a pressure

2-18 Thermodynamic Principles

1. Salisbury, J.K., Steam Turbines and Their Cycles, 12. Schofield, P., “Steam Turbines”, Chapter 3 in P.
1950 Reprinted by Krieger Publishing Company, Cohen, ed., The ASME Handbook on Water Technology
Malabar, FL, 1974. for Thermal Systems, The American Society of
2. Traupel, W., Thermische Turbomachinen, Springer- Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, 1989, pp. 113-177.
Verlag, New York, NY, 1958. 13. Leyzerovich, A., Large Power Steam Turbines,
3. Craig, H. and H. Cox, “Performance Estimation of Volume 1: Design and Operation, Volume 2: Operations,
Axial Flow Turbines”, IMECHE Proceedings, Volume 185, PennWell Books, Tulsa OK, 1997.
1970-1971, pp. 32-71. 14. Main Turbine Performance Upgrade Task Group,
4. Cotton, K.C., Evaluating and Improving Steam Turbine Main Turbine Performance Upgrade Guideline, TR-
Performance, Cotton Fact, Inc., Rexford, NY, 1993. 106239, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, January, 1997.

5. Cohen, P., ed., The ASME Handbook on Water 15. Personal communication between G.J. Silvestri, Jr.
Technology for Thermal Systems, The American Society and T. McCloskey, October, 1998.
of Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, 1989. 16. Rice, C., J.C. Harris, S.F. Gibson, J.L. Ellis, N. E
6. Bernal, J.D., Science and Industry in the Nineteenth Cowden, and D.H. Cioffi, “Steam Turbine Performance
Century, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 1970. Survey a Compiled from Steam Path Audits, Proceedings
of the 1992 EPRI Heat Rate Improvement Conference,
7. Silvestri, G.J., “Steam Turbines”, Chapter 1 in P. TR-102098, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, March, 1993.
Cohen, ed., The ASME Handbook on Water Technology
for Thermal Systems, The American Society of 17. McCloskey, T., R. Dewey, S. Hesler, and M. Pollard,
Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, 1989, pp. 1-40. “Low Pressure Steam Turbine Thermal Performance
Improvements”, Thirteenth Annual Plant Performance
8. International Association for the Properties of Water Enhancement Program, held August 12-14, 1997 in San
and Steam, IAPWS IF97 Industrial Formulation 1997 for Antonio, TX, Plant Support Engineering, EPRI, Charlotte,
the Thermodynamic Properties of Water and Steam, pub- NC, 1997.
lished by the International Association for the Properties
of Water and Steam, copies available from Dr. R.B. 18. Paterson, A.N., G. Simonin and J.G. Neft, “Steam
Dooley, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA., 1997. See also Wagner, W. Turbines for Advanced Steam Conditions”, in Symposium
and A. Kruse, Properties of Water and Steam: The on Steam Turbines and Generators, held in Monaco,
Industrial Standard IAPWS-IF97 for the Thermodynamic October 12-14, 1994, GEC Alsthom, 1994.
Properties and Supplementary Equations for Other 19. Gyarmathy, G., “Basic Notations”, Chapter 1 in M.J.
Properties, Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 1998. Moore and C.H. Sieverding, eds., Two-Phase Steam
9. Parry, W.T., “New Steam Properties Now and for the Flow in Turbines and Separators: Theory, Instrumentation,
21st Century”, ASME Research Subcommittee for the Engineering, Hemisphere Publishing Company,
Properties of Water and Steam, presented at the Washington, 1976, pp. 1-57.
International Joint Power Conference, Baltimore, MD, 20. Dooley, B., A. Ashoff, M. Ball, A. Bursik, F. Popock
1998. Paper to be separately published in 1999. and K.J. Shields, Interim Cycle Chemistry Guidelines for
10. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Combined Cycle HSRGs, TR-110051, EPRI, Palo Alto,
Performance Test Code 6 on Steam Turbines, ASME PTC CA, October, 1998.
6-1996, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New 21. Baumann, K., “Some Recent Developments in Large
York, NY, 1996. Steam Turbine Practice”, J. Inst. Elec. Eng., Volume 59,
11. Stodola, A., Steam Turbines with an Appendix on 1921, p. 565.
Gas Turbines and the Future of Heat Engines, 1905 and 22. Personal communication from W. Steltz, August,
1927 editions, translated by L.C. Loewenstein, D. Van 1998.
Nostrand Company, New York, NY, 1945.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 2-19

2-20 Thermodynamic Principles
Chapter 3 • Volume 1

Turbine Design
and Construction

3.1 Introduction 3.2 Overall Turbine Design

This chapter reviews some of the 3.2.1 Steam flow orientation.
design and construction fundamen- Steam flow can be radial or axial.
tals of steam turbines relevant to Axial is by far the most common for
understanding steam path damage large power plant steam turbines.
mechanisms. The chapter begins Figure 3-1 shows an axial flow LP
by looking at the overall design and turbine. Figure 3-2 shows three
arrangement of steam turbines. radial flow Ljöngstrom IP turbines.
There is a plethora of differing In the radial flow turbines, steam
component terminology that has enters at the centerline and exits
evolved among the various turbine radially outward, Figure 3-3.
designers and manufacturers.
Table 3-1 provides a summary of 3.2.2 Impulse versus reaction
some of the more common turbine design. A distinction is made
components and the various terms between “impulse” and “reaction”
applied to them. turbine designs based on the rela-
Following the review of overall tive pressure drop across the stage.
design are brief sections on the There are two measures for pressure
design, features, materials of con- drop, the pressure ratio and the per-
struction, and damage mechanisms cent reaction. Pressure ratio is the
for major turbine components: pressure at the stage exit divided by
rotors, casings, valves, seals and the pressure at the stage entrance.
bypass systems. Blade design and Reaction is the percentage isen-
materials are covered in two sepa- tropic enthalpy drop across the
rate chapters: Chapter 4 on func- rotating blade or bucket compared
tion, features and materials of con- to the total stage enthalpy drop;
struction, and Chapter 5 on some manufacturers utilize percent
stresses, evaluation of frequency pressure drop across stage to
response and aerodynamics. define reaction.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 3-1

Table 3-1 In an impulse design most of the
Terminology Alternatives for Turbine Components pressure drop is across the station-
ary blade or nozzle. In a “pure”
Term Generally Used Some Alternatives impulse design, all the pressure
In This Book drop would occur across the nozzle;
Rotating Blades and Parts this would be termed 0% “reaction”.
In practice, there must be some
Rotating blades Buckets
pressure drop across the rotating
Blade root Serrations, attachments, fir trees, hooks, attachment base blades in order to generate flow.
Blade shank Blade tail For example, the control stage of the
Blade base Platform HP turbine is typically an “impulse”
stage by design but still has on
Blade airfoil Vane, partition, foil
average about 5% reaction at full
Pin and finger root Pinned finger; fork-shape fastening load. Note that a stage will pass
Fir-tree (attachment) Dovetail flow even if there is negative reac-
Pins Prongs tion; what is required is that the total
to static pressure drop across the
Tiewires Lacing wires, lashing wires, arch bands, snubber, connectors.
rotating row is greater than zero.1
Shrouds Covers, bands, coverbands, integral shrouds, spill strips
In the reaction design, work is done
Tuned blade packets Harmonic shrouding by a jet from stationary blades simi-
Tenons Rivets, pegs lar to the impulse design, however,
Tenon rivet Tenon upset, tenon head an additional reaction from the jet
Countersunk tenon rivet Foxholed tenon created by the moving blades also
occurs. For a symmetric reaction
Dovetail Steeple, roots and grooves design, equal pressure drop occurs
Blade group Blade packet across the stationary and rotating
Closing blade Notch piece/blade blades and thus reaction is equal to
Stationary Blades and Parts 50%. Figures 3-4 and 3-5 show per-
cent reaction versus stage number
Stationary blades Nozzles for fossil and nuclear units, respec-
Nozzle chests Nozzle boxes, nozzle plate, nozzle chamber/block tively, with both impulse and reaction
Diaphragms Partitions, blade ring/carrier, stationaries, rings turbine types plotted on each figure.
Stationary vanes Nozzle foils, nozzle vanes, nozzle partitions Note that the tip and root reaction
percentages are different to counter-
Other Components act the effect of centrifugal forces on
Inlet Bowl the steam flow. If this was not done,
Control stage First stage, governing stage, partial admission stage, inlet too much flow would migrate to the
stage. blade tips and reduce stage effi-
Rotor Shaft, wheel, spindles ciency. Bowed blades, for a given
mean diameter reaction, increase
Disc Wheel the base section reaction and
Keyways of discs Anti-rotation pin slots reduce the tip reaction.1
Disc-rim blade attachment Steeple
Blade entry slot Gate, notch
Seal Sealing labyrinth, labyrinth seal, sealing fin, packing ring,
packing, gland, sealing strip, spill strip
Turning gear Barring gear
Pedestal Standard
Turbine section Cylinder
Exhaust hood Exhaust port
Turbine casing Shell, cylinder
Sleeve rings Snout rings, piston rings, inlet rings
Attemperators Sprays

3-2 Turbine Design and Construction

3.2.3 Flow through a stage (velocity
triangles). “Velocity triangles” for an
impulse stage are shown in Figure
3-6. This vector representation is an
important tool that is used to under-
stand the flow of steam through real
turbine stages. The stationary
blades (or nozzles) accelerate the
flow by altering the flow area and
turn the flow toward the rotating
blades. The velocity of steam leav-
ing the stationary blade, V1 is
approximately equal to the theoreti-
cal steam velocity V0 , which would
be the velocity of the steam
expanded from the pressure
upstream of a stage to the down-
stream pressure without losses.
The velocity of the rotating blades or
wheel speed, is designated W, and
Figure 3-1. Welded steam turbine rotor of a 1300 MW/3600 rpm cross-compound the vector result of V1 and W is the
machine after twenty months of operation. The L-1 row is equipped with titanium velocity of the entering steam rela-
blades. Photograph provided courtesy of R. Svoboda (ABB Power Generation, tive to the rotating blade, V2 . α is
Switzerland) the angle at which the steam leaves
the stationary blade relative to the
plane of rotation of the rotating
blade. α is sometimes referred to
as the “nozzle angle”, although it is
actually the steam angle and is
typically about 2° larger than the
nozzle passage angle.3
In an impulse design, there is little
pressure drop across the rotating
blades so that the relative velocity
leaving the rotating blade, V3 ,
(Figure 3-6) would be equal to the
entering velocity V2 if there were no
frictional losses. The absolute
velocity of the exiting steam is V4 ,
the vector sum of V3 and the wheel
speed, W. A goal of the stage
design process is to have the direc-
tion of the flow at exit be as close as
possible to axial for entry into the
next stage.2
Figure 3-2. Three radial flow Ljöngstrom IP rotors. Photograph provided courtesy of
B. Kooy (KEMA Nederland B.V.)

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 3-3

The force on the blade is equivalent
to the change in tangential compo-
nents of the velocity, i.e., the enter-
ing tangential velocity, Va less the
exit tangential velocity, Vb.
The power output of the stage can
be determined from impulse-
momentum considerations.
Efficiency is shown to be3:

w Va Vb 

Steam in η=2 + (3-1)
Vo Vo Vo 

where w = the weight of steam flow-

ing per second.

η= (3-2)

The theoretical efficiency of stages

with reactions is shown in Figure
3-7. The parameter, X, indicates the
Steam out fraction of stage energy released in
the blades. As shown on the figure,
in a pure impulse stage, where
Figure 3-3. Radial flow or Ljöngstrom turbine. Source: P. Schofield9 X = 0, the optimum ratio of W/ V0 is
0.5. Optimum ratios for other per-
cent reactions are shown in Figure
Percent Reaction 3-7. Note that in reality, as the
velocity ratio, W/ V0 , changes, the
50 percent reaction type
fractional reaction will also change.
Impulse type Thus the change in efficiency of an
60 Tip actual turbine stage efficiency would
Tip cut across the velocity ratio curves
50 with changes in imposed reaction.
3.2.4 Pressure or velocity
compounding. Multi-stage turbines
Root can use either pressure or velocity
30 Tip Root compounding. In pressure com-
Tip pounding, each blade row is pre-
20 ceded by a row of nozzles. In
velocity compounding, one row of
Root Root Root nozzles guide steam onto two or
more rows.
0 3.2.5 Condensing and non-
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6
condensing units. Condensing
units allow for the steam to expand
Stage Number to the lowest possible pressure
before being condensed. The
exhaust steam pressure is termed
Figure 3-4. Approximate stage reactions – fossil fired turbines. Source: K.C. Cotton2

3-4 Turbine Design and Construction

the “backpressure” and is equal to
the pressure in the condenser plus a Percent Reaction
small incremental pressure that 80
results from pressure losses in the 50 percent reaction
exhaust hood. The condenser pres- 70 Impulse type
sure, and hence turbine backpres-
sure, depends on the flow amount Tip
and temperature of the cooling 60
water, contamination or fouling of Tip
the condenser tubes, and other 50 Tip
condenser factors. High backpres-
sures can result in large vibratory 40
blade stresses from flow recircula-
tion and in the overheating of last
stage blades by a mechanism 30
Tip Root
called windage which is the subject
of Chapter 32. 20
In non-condensing turbines, the
steam is exhausted before being 10
Root Root
fully expanded. The exhaust may
be used to supply steam to a con-
densing turbine or for process heat- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
ing. A non-condensing turbine is HP LP
sometimes referred to as a “back-
Stage Number
pressure” turbine.
3.2.6 Number of sections (cylinders)
and stages. Although early Figure 3-5. Approximate stage reactions–nuclear cycle turbines. Source: K.C. Cotton2
machines were one section or cylin-
der (because of design and manu-
facturing limitations), most com-
monly, power plant turbines consist Va
of two or more sections designated
high pressure (HP), intermediate α ξ
pressure (IP) and low pressure (LP)
in order to improve overall efficiency. V1 V2
The optimum number of stages
depends on a number of factors Rotating blade
including2: (i) the amount of avail-
able energy from boiler conditions,
allowable discharge pressures, etc. W
and (ii) stage percent reaction, rotor
mean diameter, and rotor speed.
χ W
There are three basic types of shaft
and casing arrangements: single
casing, tandem-compound, and V4
cross-compound. In turbines with a V3
single casing, all sections are con-
tained within one casing and the
steam path flows from throttle to Vb
exhaust through that single casing.

Figure 3-6. Velocity triangles showing steam flows through a turbine stage.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 3-5

Typically several LP flows in parallel
η = Efficiency of Ideal Stage are required to handle the large vol-
1.20 ume of flow rates. Figure 3-8 shows
a typical tandem-compound turbine
1.00 X = 1.00 with two casings – one HP and IP,
X = 0.75
and the second, a two-flow LP.
A cross compound design typically
X = 0.50 has two or more casings, coupled
in series on two shafts, with each
X = 0.25
0.40 shaft connected to a generator. In
cross compound arrangements the
Energy released in bucket
0.20 2-row
2-row wheel X
x=0 XX==Energy released in bucket rotors can rotate at different speeds
Stage energy
but cannot operate independently
0 as they are electrically coupled.
0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 The cross compound design is
W/V0 inherently more expensive than
the tandem-compound design, but
has a better heat rate, so that the
Figure 3-7. Efficiency of an ideal stage as a function of velocity ratio for various values
choice between the two is one of
of bucket reaction. Source: J.K. Salisbury3
In the tandem-compound design, piping and on to one or more low 3.2.7 Schematics of common
there are two or more casings con- pressure turbines. LP turbines are arrangements. A variety of common
nected in series on a single shaft. typically characterized by the num- steam path arrangements are shown
In a common arrangement, the HP ber of parallel paths available to the schematically in Figure 3-9. Figure
and IP turbine are in one casing, steam. The steam path through the 3-9a shows a simple path where
with the HP exhaust returned for LP turbines is split into parallel flows steam enters a turbine and is
reheating before entering the IP tur- because of steam conditions and exhausted to the atmosphere or a
bine. The IP exhausts into crossover practical limitations on blade length. condenser. In Figure 3-9b, two

Crossover piping Low pressure

HP turbine stages
Thrust and High Journal
journal pressure bearing
bearings stages Journal


Front Pedestal

To condenser
To Extractions Intermediate
reheater pressure stages
IP turbine

Figure 3-8. Typical tandem compound, single reheat, condensing turbine.

3-6 Turbine Design and Construction

(a) HP LP








(f) DFLPs





Figure 3-9. Alternative arrangements of the turbine rotor, showing different configurations used to expand the steam in
multiple cylinders and parallel expansions. Source: W.P. Sanders4

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 3-7

sections are used, an HP and an LP equalization of the flow. In most energy). The disadvantage is the
section. Figure 3-9c indicates a turbines, even those with subse- increased centrifugal stress which
condition where split steam is used quent stages of the reaction design, quickly limits the length of the
in a double flow, low pressure the first stage is typically an impulse blades constructed of a particular
(DFLP) section. stage in order to achieve a large material.
temperature drop and thus control
Figure 3-9d indicates a three section From a damage viewpoint, the last
the temperature of the steam to
turbine including the IP section, stage also sees a high proportion of
the rotor.
along with reheating of steam exiting blade failures. This is due to the
The first stage of the HP is typically
the HP section (indicated by the dual effects of high stresses, caused
divided into several arcs of admis-
“R” in the figure). Figure 3-9e is a by the length of the blades, and
sion fed by separate control valves,
similar configuration except that the environmental conditions.
allowing it to be operated with either
HP and IP sections share a common
full arc or partial arc admission. In Even though designers make the
shaft, and flow is to two DFLP sec-
partial arc admission, startup is exhaust hood as large a possible,
tions. Figure 3-9f shows a double
often accomplished by opening stop because of the large volume of
flow IP (DFIP), followed by three
valves wide open and controlling steam, sonic velocities can be
DFLP sections.
throttle steam flow with the first con- reached at the steam exit. As a
In arrangements shown in Figures trol valve. This mode of operation, result, losses accumulate similar to
3-9a through 3-9f, all rotors are however, can cause very high veloc- flow through a pipe, and the exhaust
coupled or contained on a common ities in the 1st and 2nd arc of the 1st hood is potentially subject to flow-
shaft, a tandem-compound arrange- stage nozzle. When combined with accelerated corrosion (Chapter 29).
ment. Figure 3-9g shows the cross high particle loadings which occur Exhaust hood redesign to optimize
compound arrangement where the during the early stages of unit star- flow paths is an area which is show-
units have more than one rotor. tups, this can result in rapid solid ing considerable economic pay-
particle erosion damage (Chapter back.5 These redesigns are being
3.2.8 Turbine inlet. Two stages in
17). As a qualitative example, the performed using recently developed
particular have very specific design
first valve can typically pass about tools such as computational fluid
considerations – the first (“inlet” or
35% of the total flow, a level that dynamics (CFD), a technique not
“control”) stage, and the exhaust
corresponds to the highest level of available to the original designers.
stage. The inlet stage serves a con-
trol function and flow through it may particle production. If all four arcs
are opened in full arc admission, the 3.3 Fossil and Nuclear Turbine
vary widely (for example during par-
velocity is roughly 4 times lower. Designs Compared
tial arc admission). In this book we
referred interchangeably to the first, 3.3.1 Fossil turbine designs. An
inlet or control stage. More pre- 3.2.9 Turbine exhaust - last stage
overall schematic of a typical fossil
cisely, if the first stage is a full-arc and exhaust hood. As it produces
turbine is shown in Figure 3-8.
admission stage, either impulse or about 10% of the total power output
Steam enters from the main steam
reaction, the flow control is accom- of the turbine, the exhaust stage of
lines through stop and control valves
plished by control valve action. A the LP is one of the most critical to
into the HP section or cylinder. As
true control stage is a partial arc the economics of the entire turbine.
noted above, the first or control
admission stage where flow control There is considerable economic
stage is spaced somewhat apart
is achieved both by varying the pressure to increase unit sizes by
from subsequent stages to allow for
active steam admission arc as well increased mass flow rates. A key
stabilization of the flow.
as by throttling on the control valves. limitation is the last LP stage, specif-
Consequently, a control stage is a ically the allowable blade length, After passing through the HP tur-
low reaction design with partial arc annulus area, and tip speed. bine, cold reheat piping carries the
Raising the annulus area increases steam to the reheater and returns in
admission. Because of the variable
admission, the stage pressure ratio the turbine capacity and efficiency the hot reheat piping to the inte-
increases as load is reduced with an but increases the turbine and blade grated HP and IP cylinder to pass
accompanying increase in the steam size. Increasing the last stage blade through the IP turbine. The return to
velocity leaving the nozzles.1 length allows more power to be the IP turbine typically passes
extracted from the working fluid (or through a stop and intercept valve.
The space between the inlet stage alternatively a more compact The flow exits the IP through the IP
and the following stage allows for machine with fewer stages can be exhaust hood and typically passes
built to extract the same amount of back along the spacing between the

3-8 Turbine Design and Construction

inner and outer casing of the com- The LP turbines for water cooled and as a result, such units may typi-
bined HP and IP turbine. The flow reactors are subject to nearly identi- cally contain setups such as two,
then passes through crossover pip- cal conditions as those in fossil units double flow, low pressure cylinders.
ing to the LP. which has lead to the use of the
designs that are often identical.
During its expansion through the LP 3.5 Rotors
However as the volumetric flows are
turbine(s), the steam crosses the Rotors are coupled together, except
60-70% larger, the exhaust annulus
saturation line. As discussed for cross compound designs where
must be increased or the number of
throughout Volume 2, where in a there may be two shafts driving two
LP turbines increased to reduce
given turbine many of the damage generators, coupled electrically.
exhaust losses to a minimum.6
mechanisms will occur is strongly The rotors rest in one, or more typi-
related to the locations at which con- In the U.S., the use of larger sized cally two, journal bearings. The
densation begins, termed the phase components needed to handle the journal bearings help hold the rotor
transition zone (PTZ). Exit is through high flow rates has meant the use of in the proper radial position and pro-
the LP exhaust hood. The typical lower speeds, 1800 rpm for 60 Hz vide support that will withstand the
modern steam turbine has a number units, compared to 3600 rpm for fos- reaction from the shaft rotation.
of extraction points throughout all sil units. The stresses that result in Thrust bearings are typically located
sections where the steam is used to the turbine blades of fossil and between the HP and IP and first LP
supply the feedwater heaters. nuclear units are roughly the same sections in fossil units. They take
order of magnitude, as the allowable axial thrust and hold the position of
3.3.2 Nuclear turbine designs.
Nuclear steam supply is generally blade lengths are longer in the the turbine rotor axially relative to the
at lower pressures and tempera- slower turning nuclear machines. stationary stages. Rotors are
tures than in fossil fuel units; as a For 50 Hz systems, 1500 rpm and equipped with a turning gear to
result considerably higher flow rates 3000 rpm machines have been used allow them to be turned during shut-
are required to generate the same in nuclear units. downs and startups to prevent ther-
output. There is generally an HP mal bending or warping caused by
section coupled with several LP 3.4 Steam Turbines for Co- uneven cooling or warming.
sections. Generation, Combined Cycle and This section briefly reviews the
Geothermal Plants design and features, materials of
Nuclear HP turbines are typically of
a double flow design. Because the 3.4.1 Co-generation turbines. construction and damage mecha-
steam supply has little or no super- Steam turbines for co-generation nisms pertinent to steam turbine
heat, expansion through the nuclear may be of standard designs or incor- rotors. References to additional
HP turbine leads to high moisture porate specific features to improve information are also provided, as,
levels (typically 10-15%). If it were the delivery of district heating, such with the exception of creep in the
exhausted directly to the LP turbine, as extra cylinders to allow more blade attachment region of rotors
exit moisture from the LP would be freedom in automatic extraction.7 (Chapter 15) and stress corrosion
on the order of 20% which would cracking of disc rim attachments
cause excessive erosion of the last 3.4.2 Combined cycle turbines. (Chapter 25), rotor damage mecha-
stages of the LP and large losses in Combined cycle units may consist nisms are not covered in this book.
efficiency. As a result, a moisture of a single gas turbine and single
separator (in which the steam is steam turbine on a common shaft 3.5.1 Overview of rotor design and
dried or separated mechanically) with the generator, or multiple gas features Three general types of
and a one or two stage reheater is rotor construction are shown
turbines and a single steam turbine.
used on steam exhausted from the schematically in Figure 3-10.
Depending on the steam conditions
HP before returning it to the LP. and flow, the steam turbine for com- In HP and IP turbines of fossil
Piping from the HP turbine exhaust bined cycle units may be a single plants, rotors are ordinarily of the
to the moisture separator/reheater is cylinder or multiple cylinders, such monoblock or welded construction.
termed cold reheat or crossunder as with an HP and a double flow LP In nuclear units, the earliest HP
piping; that from the reheater to the turbine. Combined cycle turbines rotors tended to be of monoblock
typically do not have regeneration construction, followed for a period of
LP turbine called hot reheat or
cycles employing feedwater heaters. time by the use of shrunk-on con-
crossover piping. In nuclear non-
struction. Most recently the trend
reheat units, there is typically a 3.4.3 Geothermal unit turbines. has been back to monoblock con-
moisture separator only between the Because of the low enthalpy steam struction in these machines.
HP and LP turbines. conditions in most geothermal units,
very large flow rates are required

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 3-9

alloys include 26NiCrMo 11 5 (DIN
1.2726), 30NiCrMoV 5 11 (DIN,
a) Shrunk-on disc or “built-up” rotor
1.6946) or ~21CrMoV 5 11 (DIN,
1.8070).8 LP rotors are mostly typi-
cally constructed of NiMoV or
NiCrMoV materials, particularly 3.5
NiCrMoV. Shrunk-on discs, when
used, are made from forgings of
similar NiCrMoV materials, conform-
ing to ASTM A294 Grade B or C, or
ASTM 471, Classes 1 to 3.
Nuclear rotors. Nuclear HP rotors
are also typically manufactured out
b) Solid or “monoblock” rotor
of NiCrMoV materials.
Table 3-2 provides a list of some of
the conventional rotor steels. Table
3-3 provides illustrative chemical
composition and required mechani-
cal properties for three specific
alloys: (i) 3.5NiCrMoV (A470, Class
6), a typical LP rotor material, (ii)
3.5 NiCrMoV (A471, Class 3), a
typical disc material, and (iii)
c) Welded rotor 12CrMoV (A565, Gr. 616), a typical
HP rotor material. A compilation of
chemical compositions of some
European rotor materials is provided
in Table 3-4.

3.5.3 Rotor damage mechanisms

Fossil HP and IP rotors. Damage
mechanisms include: creep, low
cycle fatigue (thermal mechanical),
creep-fatigue interactions, fatigue
from rotating weight (“self-bending”),
Figure 3-10. Types of rotor construction. a.) Schematic of a built-up steam turbine and embrittlement. Key areas of
rotor with shrunk-on discs. b.) Schematic of a monoblock steam turbine rotor. concern in the HP rotors of fossil
c.) Schematic of a welded steam turbine rotor. The welds connect the discs.
fired units are the accumulation of
Source: R. Svoboda, ABB Power Generation, Switzerland
damage at the bore and in areas of
stress concentration resulting from
Most commonly, because of their prepared by air melting in open cyclic loading and elevated temper-
large size, LP turbines have tended hearth furnaces (“C” grade). In the ature operation. Stress concentra-
to be the built-up (shrunk-on) design late 1950s electric furnace steel tions of concern are bores, keyways,
with an integrally forged shaft onto making and vacuum deoxidation heat and seal grooves, locking slots,
which discs are shrunk and keyed. and degassing techniques lead to ventilation holes, fillets, and the
However, all three types of rotor con- improved quality and cleanliness blade attachments – tangential entry,
struction are in use in the LP rotors; (“D” grade). Some manufacturers triple pin and axial fir tree designs.
Figure 3-1 shows, for example a use a 12% Cr steel (typical compo-
welded LP rotor. sitional ranges 10 to 12.5% Cr, 0.8 Early development of rotor forgings
to 1.2% Mo and 0.15 to 0.35% V) concentrated on heat treating the
3.5.2 Rotor materials of construction for more highly stressed rotors. rotor to give maximum creep resis-
Fossil HP and IP rotors. Rotors in the tance. The material was austeni-
Fossil LP rotors. Fossil LP rotors are tized at 1010°C (1850°F). This high
1950s were made of 1CrMoV (typi-
typically constructed of forgings creep strength was accompanied by
cal composition is 0.9 to 1.5%Cr,
conforming to ASTM A293, Class 2 poor creep ductility and poor tough-
0.7 to 1.5% Mo and 0.2 to 0.35%V),
to 5 or ASTM A470, Class 2 to 7 ness, since as the creep rupture
materials. Corresponding European

3-10 Turbine Design and Construction

Table 3-2 Table 3-3
Typical Materials of Construction for Rotors Example Rotor and Disc Material Composition and Properties
Component Generic Name ASTM Alloy Designation Property/Composition LP Rotor LP Disc HP Rotor
3.5 NiCrMoV 3.5 NiCrMoV 12CrMoV
LP Rotor 2.0 NiMoV A293, Classes 2 & 3
(A470 Class 6)1 (A471, Class 3)2 (A565, Gr. 616)3
2.5 NiMoV A293, Classes 4 & 5 (Heat-treated)
2.5 NiMoV A470, Classes 2, 3 & 4 Composition
Carbon 0.28 max. 0.28 max 0.20 - 0.25
3.5 NiCrMoV A470, Classes 5 to 7
Manganese 0.20 - 0.60 0.70 max 0.5 - 1.0
20 Mn 5 None, (DIN, Wks. 1.1133) (0.40 max)4
24 Ni 4 None (DIN, Wks. 1.5613) Phosphorus 0.012 max. 0.012 max. 0.05 max.

24 Ni 12 None Sulfur 0.015 max. 0.015 max. 0.05 max.

Silicon 0.15 - 0.305 0.15 - 0.355 0.50 max.
22 NiCrMoV 12 None (0.10 max)4
LP Disc 2.8 NiMoV A294, Grades B & C Nickel 3.25 - 4.00 2.0 - 4.0 0.5 - 1.0
3.5 NiCrMoV A471, Classes 1 to 3 Chromium 1.25 - 2.00 0.75 - 2.0 11.0 - 12.5
Molybdenum 0.25 - 0.606 0.20 - 0.70 0.90 - 1.25
HP Rotor 1CrMoV A293, Class 6
(0.25 - 0.45)4
1CrMoV A470, Class 8 Vanadium 0.05 - 0.15 0.05 min. 0.20 - 0.30
12CrMoV A565, Gr. 616 Antimony Note 4 and 7 Note 7
12CrMoV A768, Class 1 Tin Note 4
Tungsten 0.90 - 1.25
~20CrMoV 12 1 None (DIN, 1.4922)
Mechanical Properties
~22 CrMoWV 12 1 None (DIN, 1.8212)
Tensile Strength, min, 725 - 860 760 965
30NiCrMoV 5 11 None (DIN, Wks. 1.6946) MPa (ksi) (105 - 125) (110) (140)

HP Disk 1CrMoV A471, Class 5 & 10 Yield strength, min, 620 690 - 8258 760
MPa (ksi), 0.2% offset (90) (100 - 120)8 (110)
26 NiCrMoV 11 5 None (DIN, Wks. 1.6948) Elongation in 50 mm 18 13
Source: D.W. Gandy, et al.8 or 2 in., min., %
• Longitudinal prolongation 18
• Radial body 17
Reduction in area, min., % 47 30
• Longitudinal prolongation 52
• Radial body 50
FATT 50 max. -7˚C (20 ˚F) -18˚C (0˚F)
Room temp. impact, min. 61.2 61.2 11
J (ft. lb) (45) (45) (8)
Brinell Hardness 302-352
1 ASTM A470 Standard Specification for Vacuum-Treated Carbon and Alloy Steel Forgings
for Turbine Rotors and Shafts.
2 ASTM A471, Standard Specification for Vacuum-Treated Alloy Steel Forgings for Turbine
Rotor discs and Wheels.
3 ASTM A565, Standard Specification for Martensitic Stainless Steel Bars, Forgings, and
Forging Stock for High-Temperature Service.
4 Special composition requirements to minimize temper embrittlement.
5 May be vacuum-carbon deoxidized, silicon, 0.10 max.
6 If required due to operating temperatures, 0.40% Mo may be specified)
7 To be reported for information only.
8 0.02% offset.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 3-11

Table 3-4
Composition of Selected European Rotor Materials
Rotor Material DIN Wks. No. C Si Mn P S Cr Mo Ni V W
20 Mn 5 1.1133 0.17-0.23 0.30-0.60 1.00-1.30 0.035 0.035 — — — — —
24 Ni 12 — 0.25 nom. — 0.90 nom — — — — 3.0 nom — —
22 NiCrMoV 12 — 0.25 nom — 0.47 nom — — 1.50-2.00 0.40-0.60 2.80-3.20 0.11 —
26 NiCrMo 11 5 1.2726 0.22-0.30 0.30-0.50 0.20-0.40 0.03 0.03 0.60-0.90 0.20-0.40 1.30-1.60 0.15 0.20
X20 CrMoV 12 1 1.4922 0.17-0.23 0.50 1.00 0.030 0.030 10.0-12.5 0.80-1.20 0.30-0.80 0.25-0.35 —
X21 CrMoWV 12 1 1.4926 0.20-0.26 0.50 0.30-0.80 0.25 0.20 11.0-12.5 0.80-1.20 0.30-0.80 0.25-0.35 0.30
24 Ni 4 1.5613 0.20-0.28 0.15-0.35 0.60-0.80 0.035 0.035 0.30 — 1.00-1.30 — —
24 Ni 8 1.5633 0.20-0.28 0.15-0.35 0.60-0.80 0.035 0.035 0.30 — 1.90-2.20 — —
30 NiCrMoV 5 11 1.6946 0.28-0.32 0.30 0.15-0.40 0.015 0.018 1.20-1.80 0.25-0.45 2.4-3.1 0.05-0.15 —
26 NiCrMoV 14 5 1.6957 0.22-0.32 0.30 0.15-0.40 0.015 0.018 1.20-1.80 0.25-0.445 3.4-4.0 0.05-0.15 —
21 CrMoV 5 11 1.8070 0.17-0.25 0.30-0.60 0.30-0.60 0.035 0.035 1.20-1.50 1.00-1.20 0.60 0.25-0.35 —
Note: Single values are maximum. Compiled in: D.W. Gandy, et al.8

strength increases, so does the frac- Fossil and nuclear LP rotors. Typical of these factors are important in
ture appearance transition tempera- damage mechanisms for LP rotors assessing the problems with disc
ture (FATT). More recently, tough- are (i) low cycle fatigue cracking in cracking.
ness has been improved through the rotor bore, (ii) high cycle fatigue As with HP and IP rotors, the LP
changes in steel making practices, cracking of the shaft, (iii) stress bores are highly stressed largely by
alloy content, heat treatment and corrosion cracking of discs in areas thermal transients that can lead to
increased steel purity. Maximizing of condensation, especially in low cycle fatigue damage. Unlike
creep rupture strength has been shrunk-on discs, and (iv) stress cor- the high temperature rotors, creep is
relaxed in favor of improving creep rosion cracking of the blade not a factor because the maximum
ductility. However, creep cracking attachment areas. The last of these temperature of operation is below the
at the blade attachment areas mechanisms is covered in detail in creep regime, which simplifies evalu-
(Chapter 15) continues to be a prob- Chapter 25. ation. However, the older NiMoV and
lem for many operators.
Most of the potential problem areas newer NiCrMoV steels are more
The range of service conditions of on the LP rotor are in regions where susceptible to temper embrittlement
rotors has changed over the years. stress concentrations are present. during service, even at the lower
Under continuous service at temper- These stress concentrations may be temperatures of operation.
atures up to 565°C (1050°F), creep further aggravated by erosion and/or
damage was the primary threat to pitting. Pitting corrosion at the sur- 3.6 Casings
integrity, and considerable longterm face of the rotor can lead to crack
(100,000 hrs.) creep data have been initiation and subsequent propaga- 3.6.1 Casing design and features.
generated. However, as rotors have tion by rotating bending fatigue Turbine casings (or shells) must
become increasingly subject to (transverse cracking). High levels of contain the steam pressure and
cyclic service conditions (load concentrated bending stress can maintain support and alignment for
cycling and full startup/shutdown exist in the shaft beneath certain the internal stationary components.
cycles), other potential damage discs, during conditions of journal Casings are designed to withstand
mechanisms such as low cycle bearing misalignment. temperature and pressure up to the
fatigue and creep-fatigue have been maximum steam conditions.
The disc and shaft assembly of
introduced. Startup and shutdown large LP rotors include either keys or Early designs of casings (prior to
induce thermal stresses that are a locking pins at each shrink fit inter- about 1963) were classic pressure
maximum at temperatures substan- face to prevent rotation of the disc vessel shapes with single walled
tially lower than those which occur relative to the shaft. Keyways are cylinders and hemispherical ends,
at steady state. Fracture toughness stress concentrators and provide together with a horizontal, bolted,
becomes the dominant property in interstices for deposition of chemical flanged joint for access. The cas-
the resistance of the steel to brittle contaminants from the steam. Both ings were designed to withstand
fracture. steady state pressure loads at high

3-12 Turbine Design and Construction

temperatures. Conservative design Modern materials have strict con- regulate the flow of steam from the
led to thick sections. As technology trols on these “tramp” elements to steam leads into the HP turbine.
advanced, steam temperatures and minimize temper embrittlement. • Control or throttling valves. These
pressures increased and more Lower carbon and sulfur levels valves control steam flow during
severe thermal transients were reduce the likelihood of hot tearing operation. During startup, control
imposed on casings during startup, during solidification of the castings. valves are used to govern turbine
load changes and shutdown. This Common materials for HP and IP speed and acceleration.
led to the occurrence of fatigue, casings are 21/4Cr-1Mo, for tempera-
creep and distortion. • Intercept valves. Intercept and
tures up to 538°C (1000°F), and reheat stop valves are used
Turbine casing design has evolved 1/2Cr1/2Mo-1/4V, for temperatures up to
between the boiler reheater and
over the years and casings are now 565°C (1050°F). For advanced the IP turbine inlet. Intercept
multiple pressure vessels (for exam- steam conditions, modern HP and IP valves are used to prevent the
ple, an inner and outer casing in the casings are often made of 9-12% Cr overspeed from steam stored in
HP and IP cylinder, or a triple cas- materials. In addition to ferritic the reheater and connecting
ing) allowing smaller pressure drops steels, the Type 300 series stainless lines in the event of a large load
and realizing thinner wall thickness steels have been used for high tem- reduction.9
and sections. These thinner sec- perature applications. Castings are
tions allow for lower temperature used in the higher temperature HP 3.7.2 Valving options for partial load
drop across the casing section and and IP casings. In lower tempera- and startup. Partial load operation is
thus lower thermal stresses. The ture applications such as the determined by the method of steam
exhaust steam flows back along the nuclear HP shell, carbon steel cast- control and the turbine exhaust loss.
turbine axis through the space ings may be used. There are three basic options for
between casings to allow for quicker steam control: throttle control (single
LP turbines casings which are signif-
warming of the turbine during starts. admission), nozzle control (partial
icantly larger in size and operate at
LP casings may also be of multiple admission), and variable pressure.
lower temperatures are typically fab-
part design with the inner casing In throttle control, the valves open
ricated or constructed of fabricated
containing the diaphragms supports together and progressively as the
and cast components. Materials
and the outer casing directing the load increases.9 In contrast, under
sufficient for lower temperatures
exhaust to the condensers. nozzle control, valves are opened
such as carbon steel plate may be
Steam chests and valves were often used. sequentially to full pressure. In
integral to older turbine casings. variable pressure operation, control
3.6.3 Casing damage mechanisms. is on steam pressure coming from
Standard design practice is now to Major casing damage mechanisms
separate these components, how- the boiler.
include: (i) creep, (ii) thermal fatigue
ever, the materials of construction (low cycle), (iii) creep-fatigue inter- Partial admission has the benefit of
and degradation of these compo- actions, (iv) embrittlement, and (v) improved heat rate compared to
nents is similar to casings and as a flow-accelerated corrosion. In the throttle control. Two HP turbine blade
result, the methods for condition majority of failures, there is evidence damage mechanisms that may be
assessment of casings are also of more than one damage mecha- exacerbated by partial arc admission
appropriate to steam chests and nism. Table 3-5 summarizes the are solid particle erosion (Chapter
valves. most common casing damage 17) and fatigue (Chapter 21).
mechanisms and the typical loca- Another consideration is the thermal
3.7.2 Casing materials of construc-
tions of occurrence. stress induced in the rotor as a
tion. In the 1940s casings were
manufactured from C-Mo steels; result of the unit ramp rate. This rate
about 1947 CrMo and CrMoV steels 3.7 Valves is typically controlled by the change
were introduced to prevent graphiti- in first stage shell temperature,
zation. In the 1950s, the primary 3.7.1 Valve design and features which will vary with the type of
Valves control the flow of steam admission used.
emphasis was on creep strength
through the turbine. Key valves
and these early materials had poor 3.7.3 Valve materials of construc-
creep rupture ductility (and high tion. Valve materials are similar to
notch sensitivity). High carbon lev- • Main stop valves. These valves those used for turbine casings. To
els were typical, as were relatively primarily protect the turbine slow valve seat erosion, a wear
high contents of detrimental ele- against overspeed, but may also resistant material such as Stellite™
ments such as P, S, Sn, As, and Sb. regulate steam flow during may be inlaid into the base material.
startup. Stop and control valves

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 3-13

Table 3-5
Damage Mechanisms in Turbine Casings
Damage Mechanism Typical Location(s) Cause Comments
Creep Girth weld of shell-mounted control Longterm steady state high Early materials had poor creep
valves. temperatures and stresses. rupture ductility.
Thermal fatigue Flange ligament; nozzle port Thermal stress during transient Fatigue mechanism can interact with
bridges; shell fits thick-to-thin operation. creep to accelerate rate of damage.
section locations.
High cycle fatigue HP inlets nozzle chambers; inlet Flow induced vibration inside HP
sleeves; flex plates; equilibrium inlet turbine due to density and
pipes and struts. velocity of steam.
Erosion Valve seats. High velocity impingement of solid Rate of damage predicted by
particles in steam. sequential inspection.
Flow-accelerated corrosion LP casings. High velocity steam flows. Worse in low chromium content
Graphitization Casing weld HAZs in C-Mo Prolonged exposure to temperatures Detected by replication or sample
material. above 454˚C (850˚F). removal.
Temper embrittlement Early casings manufactured by open Exposures at temperatures of 315 to Identification requires removal of a
hearth process without control on 537˚C (600 to 1000˚F) leading to test sample.
tramp elements. grain boundary segregation.
Distortion General. Creep in HP casing; rapid thermal Casing may require heat treatment
transients; and water induction. to restore its original shape/
Wire drawing Between inner and outer casings. Leakage at small gaps or compo- See additional information in
nents joints lowers pressure and Chapter 30.
flashes to steam resulting in a
grooving type of erosion.

3.7.4 Valve damage mechanisms. 3.8.1 Interstage seals. These 3.9 Bypass Systems
Damage to turbine valves includes include seals to prevent leakage Turbine bypass systems offer a vari-
(i) breaking or jamming of the valve around the rotating and stationary ety of benefits including10 :
stem, (ii) moisture erosion or wear, stage. They are typically called
• Ability to match steam and metal
such as between the valve body diaphragm seals in impulse stages
temperatures during startups. A
and seat which can cause steam and undershroud/overshroud seals
primary function of bypass sys-
leakage, and (iii) cracking of valve in reaction stages. They are gener-
tems is to permit sufficient firing
casings or housings as a result of ally of a labyrinth design.
rates in the boiler to achieve
thermal stresses. Turbine valves
3.9.2 End seals. End seals or pack- acceptable throttle temperatures
may be particularly sensitive prob-
ing glands are used to minimize and pressure while minimizing
lem areas in cyclic plant.
leakage at the ends of cylinders. damage to ancillary systems
They are intended to prevent air (such as overheating of tubes).
3.8 Seals injection into the LP and condenser, Bypasses are often considered in
Various seals are used to minimize and in the case of nuclear units to conjunction with moving from
leakage losses. Seal leakage is prevent leaking of radioactive steam base load to two shift or cycling
important as it is the largest single from the cylinders to the atmos- operation as a means of reducing
cause of performance reduction in phere. End seals are of the thermal damage induced and to
HP turbines; IP and LP stages also labyrinth design. There are typically improve startups.
suffer significant losses because of several sections of end seals at the
• Use as relief valves during severe
poor sealing. end of each cylinder.
load fluctuations.

3-14 Turbine Design and Construction

• Operation as overload or bypass 3.9.1 Small bypass systems. The • Ability to sustain load rejections
during turbine trips or when the simplest bypass systems consist of without tripping the boiler.
turbine is run back to house load. a pipe and shutoff valve that can • May allow for bypassing of exfoli-
exhaust steam from the boiler to the
• Operation as a boiler safety ated oxide during startup periods
condenser, bypassing the turbine.
valve. Note that the ASME Boiler and thus reduce or eliminate solid
Such bypasses originate from one
and Pressure Vessel Code, particle erosion damage to the
or more of the following locations12:
Section I limits such use to once- turbine.
primary superheater inlet, primary
through boilers with a minimum of
superheater outlet, secondary • Allows complete feedwater
two spring loaded valves.
superheater outlet or turbine inlet. cleanup before admitting steam
• Allows faster unit startups thereby to the turbine.
decreasing startup energy. 3.9.2 Small bypass systems with
division valves. A more complex
• Provides cooling of all boiler com- superheater bypass systems adds a 3.10 Drains
ponents by providing fluid flow pressure reducing valve (division Condensate can form during startup
during all firing conditions. valve) between the primary and sec- as steam contacts cool metal sur-
• Reduces solid particle erosion on ondary superheater, and secondary faces, or during operation when
turbine valves and blading by superheater and reheater steam steam and metal temperature differ-
minimizing the carryover of oxide attemperator valves. This permits ences occur such as with changes
particles during startups. This bottling up the drum at high pres- in load or steam conditions. The
topic is discussed in detail in sure during overnight outages while drain system removes the conden-
Chapter 17. providing throttle steam to the tur- sate from critical areas of the tur-
bine at reduced pressure. This con- bine, main and reheat piping, and
Extensive surveys of bypass serves energy and supplies high gland steam piping to prevent water
usage, operation, and design were temperature steam at the turbine buildup and subsequent damage
conducted in the mid 1980s.11,12 rotor by avoiding large temperature such as by water induction (Chapter
Some of the results of those studies drops through the turbine inlet 28), as well as to prevent efficiency
indicated: valves and control stage. losses which would otherwise occur.
• Bypass size is governed by tur- Drains may be either continuous
3.9.3 Large turbine bypass
bine rotor diameter and heat dis- operation (such as those that ensure
systems. European power plants
tribution in the boiler, as well as use large HP and IP/LP bypasses. that condensate in the LP turbine is
startup, loading, unloading, and The HP bypass line takes steam continuously removed during opera-
shutdown practices. from the superheater outlet to the tion) or intermittent (such as those
reheater, bypassing the HP turbine. opened and closed automatically
• A large bypass system, one
The IP/LP bypass line takes steam during startup). Drains are located
capable of diverting at least 40%
from the reheater to the condenser, at the low point of each piping sys-
of the boiler’s steam is necessary
bypassing the IP and LP turbines. tem or turbine location. Removed
to avoid boiler shutdown after a
These types of systems accomplish condensate is returned into the
turbine trip at full load.
the following objectives: steam cycle.
• Systems diverting at least 15%
• Steam flows through the reheater Periodic inspection and continued
of the steam enhance startup
as well as the superheater, cool- good maintenance of drains is
flexibility and load changing
ing the tubes. important; ASME recommenda-
capabilities. These systems, suf-
tions13,14 for drainage system
ficient to match turbine compo- • Large bypass systems permit fir- design, operation, and maintenance
nent and steam temperatures, ing the boiler up to a minimum are included in Chapter 28 covering
can reduce average startup time stable load before opening the the prevention of water induction.
by 30 minutes. turbine valves. Thus, the boiler
can be operated at stable condi-
tions and steam outlet tempera-
tures can be controlled with the
need to synchronize the turbine
startup with the boiler startup.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 3-15

1. Personal communication between G.J. Silvestri, Jr. 9. Schofield, P., “Steam Turbines”, Chapter 3 in P.
and T. McCloskey, October, 1998. Cohen, ed., The ASME Handbook on Water Technology
for Thermal Systems, The American Society of
2. Cotton, K.C., Evaluating and Improving Steam Turbine
Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, 1989
Performance, Cotton Fact, Inc., Rexford, NY, 1993.
10. Juntke, A., W.R. Sylvester, and M.J. Hargrove,
3. Salisbury, J.K., Steam Turbines and Their Cycles,
“Experience with Turbine Bypass Systems and Solid
1950 reprinted by Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar,
Particle Erosion”, in S.R. Murphy, ed., Solid Particle
FL, 1974.
Erosion of Steam Turbine Components: 1989 Workshop,
4. Sanders, W.P., Turbine Steam Path Engineering for held March 7-9, 1989 in New Orleans, LA, Proceedings
Operations and Maintenance Staff, Turbo-Technic GS-6535, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, September, 1989, pp. 5-17
Services Incorporated, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, through 5-30.
December, 1988.
11. Steltz, W.G., D.D. Rosard, O.W. Durrant, L.G. Crispin,
5. McCloskey, T., R. Dewey, S. Hesler, and M. Pollard, K.H. Haller, J. Price, R. Friedman, H. Termuehlen, G.
“Low Pressure Steam Turbine Thermal Performance Gartner, P. Anderson, and A. Bose, Assessment of Fossil
Improvements”, Thirteenth Annual Plant Performance Steam Bypass Systems, Final Report CS-3717, EPRI,
Enhancement Program, held August 12-14, 1997 in San Palo Alto, CA, October, 1984.
Antonio, TX, Plant Support Engineering, EPRI, Charlotte,
12. Rosard, D.D., W.G. Steltz, and R. Raghavan, Turbine
NC, 1997.
and Superheater Bypass Evaluation, Final Report CS-
6. British Electricity International, Modern Power Station 4810, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, October, 1986.
Practice, Volume C: Turbine, Generators, and Associated
13. American Society of Mechanical Engineers,
Plant, 3rd Edition, Pergamon, Press, Oxford, 1991.
“Recommended Practices for the Prevention of Water
7. Leyzerovich, A., Large Power Steam Turbines, Volume Damage to Steam Turbines Used for Electric Power
1: Design and Operation, Volume 2: Operations, Generation”, ASME Standard TDP-1-1980, Part 1 - Fossil
PennWell Books, Tulsa OK, 1997. Fueled Plants, American Society of Mechanical
8. Gandy, D.W., S.J. Findlan, R. Munson, W.F. Newell, Engineers, New York, NY, 1980.
and J.T. Stover, State-of-the-Art Weld Repair Technology 14. ASME Turbine Water Damage Prevention Committee,
for Rotating Components, Volume 1: Weld Repair of “Recommended Practices for the Prevention of Water
Steam Turbine Discs and Rotors, Final Report TR- Damage to Steam Turbines Used for Electric Power
107021, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, Generation - Part 1: Fossil-Fueled Plants”, ASME
October, 1996. Standard No. TWDPS-1, The American Society of
Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, July, 1972.

3-16 Turbine Design and Construction

Chapter 4 • Volume 1

Turbine Blading Design I:

Overview of Function,
Features, and Materials
of Construction
4.1 Introduction 4.2 Features and Structure of HP
Steam enthalpy is converted into and IP Blades
rotational energy as it passes 4.2.1 HP and IP rotating blades
through a turbine stage. A turbine The blades in the high pressure
stage consists of a stationary blade (HP) turbine are small because of
(or nozzle) and a rotating blade (or the low volumetric flow. Basic fea-
bucket). Stationary blades convert tures of the short blades typical of
the potential energy of the steam HP turbines are identified in Figure
(temperature and pressure) into 4-1. Rotating HP blades are usually
kinetic energy (velocity) and direct straight, however, the use of leaned
the flow onto the rotating blades. and bowed blades has recently
The rotating blades convert the introduced a three dimensional
kinetic energy into impulse and aspect to designs. Shrouds (also
reaction forces, caused by pressure called covers or connecting bands)
drop, which result in the rotation of provide a sealing surface for radial
the turbine shaft or rotor. steam seals and are used to mini-
This chapter reviews the basic fea- mize losses due to leakage.
tures and materials of construction Shrouds also tie the blades together
for both rotating and stationary tur- structurally and allow for some con-
bine blades to set the stage for the trol over the damping and natural
discussion of specific failure mecha- frequencies of the blades. The
nisms provided in Volume 2. Two shrouds are typically attached either
additional major blading topics – by peened tenons or are integral
sources of blading stresses and with the blade airfoil (or vane).
methods used for the analysis of Various methods of attaching both
blading life are discussed in HP and LP blades to the rotor are
Chapters 5 and 6, respectively. used, depending upon the manu-
Note that specific blade terminology facturer. Figure 4-2 shows the most
varies by manufacturer; see Table common types of root attachments.
3-1 for a brief overview of the termi- The choice of type of attachment
nology differences for key turbine will depend upon a number of fac-
components. Here we will use the tors. For example, for one manufac-
terms stationary and rotating turer, a side-entry fir tree root design
blades. There is an extensive litera- is used in the HP control stage for
ture on the design details of turbine

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 4-1

Steam flow Shroud


a) “Fir Tree” or b) Inverted Fir Tree

“Side or Axial Entry” Root, Circumferential
Serrated Root Tangential Entry


Figure 4-1. Schematic arrangement of stationary and rotating


ease of replacement if required

because of solid particle erosion.8
For longer blades in the control c) Single-T Root d) Double-T Root
stage, however, a triple pin construc-
tion is sometimes used as the side-
entry design has too many modes
close to the nozzle wake frequency.8
A particular challenge in HP blading
design is the first (control) stage
where operation with partial arc
admission leads to high dynamic
stresses. Design factors such as
choice of leading edge configuration
and blade groupings are chosen to e) Straddle-T Root f) Multi-Finger Pinned Root
reduce vibratory stresses produced.
Loads caused by partial arc admis-
sion are more extensively discussed
in Chapter 5. Figure 4-2. Typical types of blade roots.
Blades in IP turbines are very similar
in design to those in the HP, with 4.2.2 HP and IP stationary blades web which extends down between
somewhat more twist (and most or nozzles. In HP and IP turbines, the rotor wheels and supports the
recently, bowing and leaning) to stationary blades (or nozzles) can shaft packing. Figure 4-3 indicates
account for greater radial variation in be classified into two general design the typical construction. Diaphragms
the flow. categories: a wheel and diaphragm in the HP and IP are typically of
construction is used for impulse welded construction. In the control
Design of HP turbine blades in
stages, the drum-rotor construction (first) stage, nozzles are divided into
nuclear units manifest similar design
for reaction stages. segments, arranged in separate noz-
features as those in fossil units, for
A diaphragm, used in impulse zle “chests” or “boxes” and each
example using the same root attach-
stages, consists of (i) nozzles or segment has an associated control
ment designs. HP blades in nuclear
stationary blades, (ii) a ring which valve or control valve group.
units are longer to handle the higher
volumetric flows. locates them in the casing and (iii) a

4-2 Turbine Blading Design I

Ring Direction of Seal strip
(diaphragm) steam flow

(inner casing)

Stationary seal Interstage
blades or (packing) diaphragm

Figure 4-3. Construction of typical diaphragm.

In reaction stages, stationary blades
or nozzles are manufactured in a
manner similar to that for rotating
blades with a root attachment and in Figure 4-4. Cross section through three stages showing the
some cases a sealing shroud.10 The relationship between components.
blades are fitted by the root attach-
ment on a blade carrier which is (generally between 2 and 8); or all 4-6. As with HP blades, connec-
located in the outer casing. blades in the whole row may be tions made at the blade tip are
Nozzles and diaphragms are typi- “continuously” connected. Table 4-1 termed shrouding. Shrouds may be
cally exposed to pressure differen- lists some generic advantages and inserted over tenons protruding
tials which bend them in the plane disadvantages for grouping, contin- above the blade tips, and these
perpendicular to the turbine axis. uously connected, and free standing tenons then riveted down to secure
These pressure differentials are blade configurations. the shrouds, or they may consist of
highest in the HP, although the integrally forged stubs in a welded
Free standing blades have the fol-
shorter blade length limits the bend- or brazed together assembly. Other
lowing characteristics compared to
ing stresses that develop. types of riveted connections are also
grouped blades: (i) they have less
used. Tiewires may consist of either
The relationship between the inherent damping at the blade tips,
integrally forged stubs welded or
stationary and rotating blades in (ii) their resonances are more easily
brazed together, or cylindrical
typical stages is shown in Figures defined (i.e. no mechanical interac-
“wires” or rods inserted through a
4-1 and 4-4. tions with neighboring blades), (iii)
hole (usually in a forged boss) in
they have more aerodynamic inter-
each blade foil.11
4.3 Features and Structure of actions, and (iv) they are easier to
LP Blades install and disassemble, as there are In order to add mechanical damp-
Figure 4-5 shows the nomenclature no welds or rivets. ing, some wire or rod-type lashing
for a rotating LP blade. Rotating LP wires are left loose in their holes,
In connected blades, there are a
turbine blades may be “free stand- and there are also some shroud-type
number of design choices. The
ing”, that is, not connected to each connections that merely abut each
connections may consist of shrouds
other in any way; they may be con- other and are not permanently
(or bands) over the tips of the
nected in “groups” or “packets” attached. Continuous connections
blades, or of tiewires (or lashing or
each comprising several blades must make some provision to
lacing wires) located along the
blade height as illustrated in Figure

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 4-3

accommodate thermal expansion of
Shroud/ the connection. Shrouds and lacing
cover band Rivet wires sometimes are introduced to
Integral cover decrease vibratory stresses, but can
Tenons/rivets act as “crud traps”.
Blades are connected at the root to
the rotor or disc by several configu-
rations as shown in Figure 4-2. The
Tiewire/ blade roots may be of the “serrated”
lacing/lashing or “fir tree” configuration, inserted
Airfoil leading into individual axial slots in the disc,
edge flow or a similar serrated or T-shape,
Airfoil trailing inserted into a continuous circumfer-
edge ential slot in the disc (this requires
a special insertion gap), or may
comprise one or several flat “fin-
gers” fitting into circumferential slots
in the disc and secured by axially
inserted pins. Serrated or T-roots,
furthermore, may be of male or
female type.
The airfoil of blades may be of
Blade root/
serrations or constant section for short blades,
attachment and constant width, but twisted for
longer ones. The longest blades
Disk root area for the last few rows of the LP are
twisted, to match the aerodynamics

Figure 4-5. Basic nomenclature for an LP turbine blade (bucket).

a) Riveted shroud d) Welded lashing wire

b) Integral shroud butting together e) Loosely fitted lacing wire

c) Continuous riveted shroud f) Loose damping pins

Figure 4-6. Typical types of inter-blade connections.

4-4 Turbine Blading Design I

Table 4-1
LP Turbine Blade Grouping Options: Generic Advantages and Disadvantages
Alternative Advantages Disadvantages

Grouping or packeting • Permits tuned (harmonic) packets of blades without • Interaction of blade modes with wheel/disc modes. Use
changing modal frequencies. of interference diagram or equivalent tool to sort out is
• Increased rigidity and damping and thus inhibits flutter. required.
• Easier to construct than continuously coupled designs. • More difficult to analyze and construct than free
• Eliminates tangential mode response. standing blades.

Continuously connected • Greater stiffness and damping to resist bending and • Difficulty in tuning without changing blade
(360˚ coupling) vibration (compared to free standing or grouping). configuration.
• Eliminates tangential and torsional mode response. • Thermal expansion stresses.
• Load sharing can decrease cyclic stresses. • Somewhat difficult to install/maintain.
• Relatively simply calculated vibrational behavior.

Free standing • Clean aerodynamic shape; less thermodynamic losses. • Higher strength levels are required to resist bending
• Fewer stress concentrations. loads.
• Fewer vibratory modes which are easier to calculate than • Tip flexibility increases tip vibration and flutter
for grouped or continuously coupled blades. susceptibility.
• May have less aerodynamic design (wide blade at root,
little material at tip) which can lead to less efficient
• Fewer blades per row means no overlap of flow area
which can lead to shock losses.
• Lack of covers (shrouds) or radial spill strips (seals)
for leakage control results in reduced stage efficiency.
• Lower mechanical damping.

Source: Adapted from R..C. Bates11 and K.C. Cotton1

at different radii and improve aero- to liquid droplet erosion. Such the developed blade centrifugal
dynamic efficiency. Most recently designs are shown in more detail in stresses for both types of units are
designs have also begun to be Chapter 27. roughly equivalent by design.
leaned or bowed, thus introducing
LP turbine blades in nuclear units
radial variation as well. 4.4 Required Material Properties
show similar design features and
Nozzles or stationary blades in LP materials of construction to those in Choosing the optimum blade mater-
stages are typically arranged in fossil units. Nuclear blades are ial is an ongoing tradeoff between
diaphragms like those for HP and IP longer reflecting the low volumetric desirable material properties. Table
impulse stages. However, the con- flows and slower speeds. Typically 4-2 shows that demands placed on
struction may be simpler than those in fossil units, the maximum last HP and LP blades emphasize differ-
in the HP and IP, consisting, for stage blades are on the order of 83 ent material properties. In addition,
example of only fixed blades, con- cm (33 in) for stainless steel and it is important that blading material
strained by inner and outer (hub and 101 cm (40 in.) for titanium. In be weldable, particularly last stage
rim) annular bands. Diaphragms in nuclear units, the corresponding LP blading, as many designs require
the LP are of cast or welded con- lengths are 111 cm (44 in.) for steel that cover bands, tiewires and ero-
struction. In wet stages, blades and 135 cm (53 in.) for tita- sion shields be attached by thermal
diaphragms may be made with hol- nium. Because nuclear units typi- joining.12 Weldability is also impor-
low blade vanes or other design fea- cally operate at half the speed of tant for blade repairs. It is important
tures as a means of drawing off fossil units (1800 or 1500 rpm ver-
moisture that would otherwise lead sus 3600 or 3000 rpm in fossil units),

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 4-5

Table 4-2 corrosive environments in order
Important Material Properties to avoid corrosion fatigue (see
Chapter 24).
HP and IP Turbines Nuclear Turbines, LP
Property in Fossil Units Turbines in Fossil Units • Notch sensitivity. Notch sensitiv-
ity describes the effect of stress
Creep strength and creep-fatigue resistance x concentration on fatigue strength.
Tensile strength x x Since blades have a variety of
stress concentrations, low notch
Corrosion resistance x
sensitivity is a desirable charac-
Ductility, and impact strength x x teristic. There are, however,
Fatigue strength x x tradeoffs. Higher tensile
Corrosion fatigue resistance x strengths tend toward improved
fatigue strength, but unfortunately,
Notch sensitivity x
increasing tensile strength also
Material damping x x leads to increased notch sensitiv-
(for partial admission) ity. The practical implication is
Erosion resistance x x that the designer must balance
(for solid particle erosion) (mostly for liquid the benefits of selecting a
droplet erosion) stronger material against the
reduction of fatigue strength.
The influence of notch sensitivity can
to note that up to about 1990 weld- root, and inter-blade connec- be determined from11 :
ing of blades and rotors was consid- tions such as lashing wires and Se
ered “impossible” by many major shrouds. Fs = (4-1)
[q (K t – 1) +1]σa
– To allow for rivet formation from
• Creep strength and creep-fatigue blade tenons which is required where:
resistance. Creep resistance is in many designs to attach Fs = factor of safety against
important in the first two or three shrouds to blades. fatigue
rows of the HP and IP turbines to
– To provide for plastic deforma- Se= endurance limit of material
resist elongation and accumula-
tion that can accommodate without stress concentration
tion of strain at the higher operat-
stress from a rub or impact of a (adjusted for steady stress)
ing temperatures, particularly at
foreign body and thus limit q = notch sensitivity factor
stress concentrations such as at
the blade-to-rotor attachments.
damage to a localized region (0 ≤ q ≤ 1) (compiled in stan-
instead of a brittle fracture fol- dard references such as
• Tensile strength. Tensile strength lowed by multiple consequential Peterson13)
is required to withstand steady failures. Kt = stress concentration factor
centrifugal and steam bending (> 1)
High impact strength will also help
resist failure from sudden contact by σa = nominal alternating stress,
• Corrosion resistance. Corrosion foreign bodies such as a fragment disregarding stress
resistance is important to maintain from a failed blade. concentration
blade life in the turbine environ-
• Fatigue strength. Fatigue strength • Damping. Damping is a primary
is important to prevent failures consideration in blading design
• Ductility and impact strength. from the vibratory stresses and operation. Analysis of damp-
Ductility is required for three imposed by steam flow and sys- ing is complicated by the number
reasons11: tem resonances (see Chapters 5, of factors to be considered
– To allow localized plastic flow to 20, and 21). including (i) the inherent damping
relieve stress peaks and con- • Corrosion fatigue resistance. of the blade material, (ii) the
centrations, that can occur in In LP blades, even more impor- effect of damping geometries
the local regions of complex tant than simple fatigue strength such as tiewires or shrouding,
geometries, e.g., at the blade is the resistance of the material to and (iii) the problems associated
cyclic loads in aggressive or with defining the damping at the

4-6 Turbine Blading Design I

root attachment. At the root applied form of damping and, heater/reheater tubing and steam
attachment, small differences in as a result, in the careful selec- leads. They grow as a natural
tolerances and clearances can tion of blade root connection, result of the material’s continued
make large differences in the tiewires and shroud-tenon con- exposure to high temperature
actual damping capability. nections. operation. For this reason,
although this problem can be
There are three general means of – Aerodynamic or gas dynamic
controlled, it typically cannot be
damping vibrations in LP blading: damping. Aerodynamic damp-
eliminated completely from most
material, mechanical and aero- ing in the turbine rotating stage
units. This places a premium on
dynamic. can be either positive or nega-
the use of materials (either for
tive depending on the direction
– Material damping. Material complete blades or applied as
of the energy transmitted
damping occurs as a result of surface treatments) that have
between the flow and the airfoil.
crystal slip and distortion. It is good erosion resistance as a
Aerodynamic damping occurs
an inherent property of the means of limiting the time-to-
as a result of work done on the
blade material depending on repair.
gas stream (positive blade
the dynamic stress amplitude,
damping), or by the gas stream Similarly, LP turbine blades are
preload (steady stress), and to
(negative blade damping) as it subjected to liquid droplet ero-
a lesser extent on the tempera-
passes over the vibrating airfoil. sion, especially in the last stages
ture of operation and frequency.
In most cases, in turbine of the turbine (Chapter 27).
Material damping is described
by Lazan’s law as: bladed discs, the aerodynamic For both solid particle and liquid
damping is positive and consti-
D*= ∫v Do dV* (4-2) droplet erosion, there is a general
tutes a significant portion of the trend that increased hardness of
total damping available in the
where the target material (blade) within
rotating stage, ranging from - a given class of materials, leads
D* = the damping energy dissi- 1% to +1%.19 In contrast, tests to improved resistance to erosion.
pated within volume V* have shown that material Outside of these general guide-
Do = the energy loss per unit damping is insignificant.19 lines, however, the development
volume = J σ D n Mechanical damping can be as of quantitative predictions of ero-
J and n = materials constants high as 2% if damping ele- sion resistance from basic mater-
ments such as a “Z” shroud or
σ D = the vibratory stress ial properties is still evolving.
snubber are used.19 If the
These issues are discussed at
Data on J and n have been aerodynamic damping
length in Chapters 17 (Solid
obtained by many researchers becomes negative and, if the
Particle Erosion) and 27 (Liquid
and were summarized by mechanical damping is low, the
Droplet Erosion).
Lazan.14 The validity of Lazan’s bladed disc becomes
law for turbine blade materials unstable.20
has been demonstrated experi- 4.5 Materials of Construction for
This aero-elastic phenomena is
mentally by Wagner15, Gotoda16 HP and IP Blades
dependent on the flow velocity
and Rieger.17 and the vibration mode of the The most common material for HP
blade known as the “reduced and IP rotating and stationary
– Mechanical or interface damp-
velocity”.18 Whitehead and Hall blades and nozzles is 12Cr marten-
ing. Mechanical or interface
have developed computer pro- sitic stainless steel. Three generic
damping occurs by Coulomb
grams to evaluate aerodynamic martensitic stainless steels are
friction. Mechanical damping
damping in the bladed disc.21 widely used for turbine blading,
arises from the relative motion
Using these computational fluid most commonly Type AISI 422 for
(slip) between contacting parts
dynamics programs, aerody- HP blading and Types AISI 403 and
such as damping pins, shrouds
AISI 410 in LP blading. There are
and root cover sealing plates.18 namic damping can be evalu-
ated quite accurately. numerous specific application mate-
Friction values must be estab-
rials where turbine manufacturers
lished from tests in actual tur- • Erosion resistance. HP and IP have customized the generic grade
bine or accurate experimental turbine blades can be subjected by the addition or deletion of spe-
simulations and not from simple to erosion by solid particles cific alloying elements, or by modifi-
laboratory tests.18 Mechanical (Chapter 17). The particles are cation of the production or heat
damping is the most widely oxides exfoliated from super-

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 4-7

Table 4-3 A number of superalloys have been
Composition and Properties for HP Turbine Blading Materials investigated for use in blading, par-
ticularly for combustion turbines, pri-
Martensitic Stainless Steel Austenitic Stainless Steel
marily because of their high temper-
Element AISI Type 422 (Generic) (Bohler Turbotherm 17 13 W)
ature tensile and creep strength.
Carbon 0.22 ± 0.020 0.10 However, these materials have typi-
Manganese 0.69 ± 0.030 cally not been used in steam tur-
bines as a result of their higher
Phosphorus 0.02 ± 0.005 0.03 manufacturing costs.
Sulfur 0.03 ± 0.005 0.03
Silicon 0.50 ± 0.050 1.00 4.6 Materials of Construction for
Chromium 11.5 to 12.5 ± 0.150 16.0 LP blades
Molybdenum 0.93 ± 0.050 Early LP blade materials included
Nickel 0.76 ± 0.030 13.5 cartridge brass (72 Cu, 28 Zn),
nickel brass (50 Cu, 10 Ni, 40 Zn),
Tungsten 0.97 ± 0.050 2.80
and Monel (typically 66 Ni, 31 Cu,
Vanadium 0.21 ± 0.050 1.3 Fe).24 With the advent of larger
Thallium 0.50 turbines in the 1920s a 5% Ni steel
Martensitic Stainless Steel Austenitic Stainless Steel became commonly used.25 Since
Property AISI Type 422 (Generic) (Bohler Turbotherm 17 13 W) the 1930s, most LP turbine blades
have been manufactured from a
Tensile Strength, 967 538-732 (78 - 106) Quenched 12% Cr stainless steel26 ; typically
MPa (ksi) (140) 635-830 (92 - 120) Types AISI 403, 410, or 410-Cb
Hot & cold formed have been chosen depending on
0.2 % Yield Strength, 795 248 (36) Quenched the strength required. Types 403
MPa (ksi) (115) 442 (64) Hot & cold formed and 410 have better corrosion resis-
Elongation (%) 13 30% Quenched tance than Type 422, an important
25% Hot & cold formed characteristic for use in the wet
stages of the LP turbine.
Reduction of Area (%) 25
There are numerous specifically
Brinell Hardness 293 - 341
customized versions of these
Charpy V-Notch Impact at 2.14 - 2.34 generic materials, for example,
room temperature, (15.5 - 17) Carpenter H-46 and Jethete M152.
m-kg (ft-lb) Jethete M152 has higher hardness
and is thus more resistant to liquid
droplet erosion in the LP than Types
treating process. The final proper- thermal expansion coefficient differ- 403 and 410. So far it has only
ties of these steels are strongly influ- ence between martensitic and been used in LP turbines, but could
enced by tempering temperature. austenitic stainless steels so that be used in the HP and IP if needed.
The typical composition and proper- care is required when designing European designations for 12% Cr
ties of generic Type 422 are shown attachment clearances for fitting blading alloys include:
in Table 4-3. austenitic blades into martensitic X20CrMoV121 and X20Cr13.
The austenitic stainless steels (AISI discs. Also there is a potential for Table 4-4 shows the composition of
series 300) are used in some high stress corrosion cracking when 300 typical LP blading materials and
temperature applications.22 An series stainless steels are used in Table 4-5 some key mechanical
example is Bohler’s Turbotherm 17 wet steam conditions.23 properties.
13W (a 16 Cr - 13.5 Ni variety). The The rings and webs of HP and IP More recently the precipitation hard-
composition and properties of this nozzle diaphragms are commonly ened stainless steel designated 17-
material are shown in Table 4-3. The manufactured from stainless steels, 4 PH (AISI 630) was developed by
austenitic stainless steels have although if the working steam tem- one manufacturer for the last blades
excellent mechanical properties at perature does not exceed 350°C of the LP turbine in the largest 3600
elevated temperatures and are typi- (660°F), then welded diaphragms rpm machines. It has a nominal
cally readily weldable. There is a can be made from carbon steels.9 composition that is 17% Cr, and

4-8 Turbine Blading Design I

Table 4-4
Composition of LP Blading Materials
Element 12% Cr Stainless Steels (Ti-6Al-4V)
AISI Type or AISI 403 AISI 410 X20CrMoV121 X20Cr13
European Designation (Generic) (Generic) (Example) (Example)
Carbon 0.15 ± 0.005 0.15 ± 0.005 0.22 0.19 0.020- 0.040
Manganese 1.00 ± 0.030 1.00 ± 0.030 0.40 0.53
Phosphorus 0.04 ± 0.005 0.04 ± 0.005 0.017 0.017
Sulfur 0.03 ± 0.005 0.03 ± 0.005 0.004 0.013
Silicon 0.50 ± 0.050 1.00 ± 0.050 0.38 0.24
Chromium 11.5 - 13.0 ± 0.150 11.5 - 13.0 ± 0.150 12.4 13.3
Molybdenum 0.49 0.03
Nickel 0.60 ± 0.030 0.96 0.43
Vanadium 0.28 4.1 - 4.5
Nitrogen 0.04 0.010 - 0.019
Copper 0.06
Aluminium 6.2 - 6.6
Oxygen 0.12 - 0.20
Hydrogen 0.002 - 0.006
Iron 0.100 - 0.008
Titanium Balance

Precipitation-Hardened Materials Duplex Steels

17-4 PH 15-5 PH 13-8 PH Ferralium 255
AISI Type or AISI 630 X5CrNiMoCu145 X3CrNiMoAl1382 AISI X3CrMnNiMoN2264
European Designation (Example) (Example) (A905) (Example)
Carbon 0.07 max. 0.04 0.03 0.04 max. 0.02
Manganese 1.00 max 0.42 0.03 0.80 5.6
Phosphorus 0.03 max 0.024 0.004 0.007
Sulfur 0.03 max. 0.010 0.003 0.002
Silicon 1.00 max. 0.42 0.04 0.45 0.38
Chromium 15 - 17.5 14.5 12.7 26 25.8
Molybdenum 0.50 max 1.75 2.22 3.0 2.1
Nickel 3-5 4.83 8.47 5.5 3.8
Niobium 0.32
Columbium + tantalum 0.15 - 0.45 (or as
5X C; 0.45 max.)
Copper 3-5 1.52 0.01 1.7
Aluminium 1.04
Nitrogen 0.17 0.33

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 4-9

Table 4-5
Mechanical Properties of Materials Used for LP Turbine Blading
(Room Temperature)
AISI Type 403/410 Precipitation Titanium Duplex stainless steel
Property (Generic) Hardened 17-4 PH (Ti-6Al-4V) (Ferralium 255)
Condition Hardened and tempered Hardening temperature = Annealed Plate, heat treated at 1120˚C
at 648˚C (1200˚F) 496˚C (925˚F) (2050˚F), rapidly cooled
Specific weight, 7750 7750 4430 7806
kg/m3 (lb/in.3) (.28) (.28) (.16) (.282)
Modulus of elasticity, 200 195 114 210
GPa (106 psi) (29) (28.5) (16.5) (30.5)
Tensile Strength, 760 950 867
MPa (ksi) (110) (138) (125.8)
0.2% Yield strength 585 1070 88 674
MPa (ksi) (85) (155) (128) (97.8)
Elongation (%) 23 10 13 27
Reduction in Area (%) 60 41
Brinell hardness 225 375 - 438
Endurance limit, 275 550 520
MPa (ksi) (40) (80) (75)
Note: The mechanical properties for these materials are very dependent on manufacturing process, tempering temperature and composition. The values shown are “typical”
for the alloy and heat treatment shown. Any analysis of blading should use application-specific, as-measured properties.

4% Ni. The hardening temperature capability of LP turbines to pro- and mode shapes of titanium
can control a wide range of mechan- duce power is limited by the long blades are very similar to those
ical properties. Alloy 17-4 PH is last row of blading and the made of steel. Note however, that
somewhat difficult to weld and strength of the rotor to support the elastic modulus is dependent
requires postweld heat treatment.12 the blades. The practical limita- on the particular titanium compo-
Other precipitation hardened steels tion for blades constructed of sition.
that have been investigated for 12% Cr martensitic steel was • Titanium has greater corrosion
blade construction in Europe reached with 840 mm (33.5 in.) resistance and as a result may
include: 15-5 PH (European desig- blades operating in 3600 RPM have better performance in
nation: X5CrNiMoCu145) and 13-8 machines and 1200 mm (48 in.) dry/wet transition phase regions
PH (designation: X3CrNiMoAl1382). blades operating in 3000 RPM of the LP.
machines.28 In contrast, titanium
Titanium alloys, chiefly Ti-6Al-4V (6%
offers an opportunity to go to • Titanium also has excellent resis-
aluminum and 4% vanadium), have
1000 mm (40 in.) and 1350 mm tance to impact and water droplet
been used for turbine blades since erosion damage and, in many
(54 in.) blades for 3600 RPM and
at least the early 1960s.27 The use applications, can be used without
3000 RPM machines respectively.
of titanium in the last few rows of the erosion shields.
This represents a marked
LP offers a number of advantages
increase in power and makes The drawbacks to titanium include:
over other materials:
possible a new generation of LP
• Titanium has about half the den- steam turbines.29 • Higher cost than steel, even
sity of 12Cr steels which allows though titanium’s lower density
• Titanium has particularly favor- means that more blades can be
for longer last stage blades with-
able mechanical properties in manufactured for a given mass of
out an increase in centrifugal
applications involving high material which somewhat offsets
stresses in the blade and thus an
stresses at low temperatures. the higher cost per pound of the
increase in annular area and
Because titanium has half the material.
improved turbine efficiency. The
density and about half the elastic
modulus of steel, the frequencies • More difficult to machine.

4-10 Turbine Blading Design I

• More difficult to weld. Titanium Duplex stainless steels are those strength can be achieved) and they
requires a high state of cleanli- stainless steels that contain very do show some long time service
ness and an inert welding atmos- high levels of chromium and about embrittlement at temperatures
phere. equal amounts of ferrite and austen- above 300°C (570°F).31
ite. They have been evaluated for
• Poor resistance to sliding wear,
use for LP blading, primarily in
which can allow fretting corrosion 4.7 Surface Treatments
Europe.30 There are a variety of
in some conditions, although fret- Coatings or surface hardening are
types of duplex stainless steels with
ting has not been found to be as frequently used to improve the sur-
ferrite contents ranging from about
much of a problem as was once face properties of turbine blades.
45-75%. The composition of an
anticipated. Such protective schemes are most
alloy produced in the U.S.
• Lower internal material damping commonly used to improve erosion
(Ferralium 255), and a European
than stainless steel. resistance in susceptible locations.
alloy (X3CrMnNiMoN2264) are
Detail about commonly used HP
• Finally, a disadvantage of titanium shown in Table 4-4. The duplex
blade coatings and their perfor-
for blades is that recent high stainless steels have excellent cor-
mance can be found in Chapter 17
cycle fatigue studies have shown rosion fatigue properties. Their pri-
on solid particle erosion; information
an endurance limit in air and in mary drawback for blading may be
about LP blade coatings and sur-
steam smaller than for 12% Cr somewhat lower yield strength than
face treatments for improved perfor-
stainless steels. Shot peening Type 403/410 (in general, although
mance against environmentally-
has been used to restore the the specific properties for the
assisted mechanisms and liquid
fatigue life lost after machining, Ferralium alloy shown in Table 4-5
droplet erosion can be found in
production, or repair processes. indicate that good yield and tensile
Chapters 23 and 27.

1. Cotton, K.C., Evaluating and Improving Steam Turbine 8. Pigott, R. and R.E. Warner, “Steam Turbine Blade
Performance, Cotton Fact, Inc., Rexford, NY, 1993. Developments”, presented at the Joint ASME/IEEE Power
2. Sanders, W.P., Turbine Steam Path Engineering for Generation Conference held in Portland, OR, October
Operations and Maintenance Staff, Turbo-Technic 19-23, 1986.
Services Incorporated, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 9. Leyzerovich, A., Large Power Steam Turbines, Volume
December, 1988. 1: Design and Operation, Volume 2: Operations,
3. Trumpler, W.E. and H.M. Owens, “Turbine Blade PennWell Books, Tulsa OK, 1997.
Vibration and Strength”, Trans. ASME, Volume 77, 1955, 10. Schofield, P., “Steam Turbines”, Chapter 3 in P.
pp. 337-341. Cohen, ed., The ASME Handbook on Water Technology
4. Craig, H.R.M. and D. Kalderon, “Research and for Thermal Systems, The American Society of
Development for Large Steam Turbines”, Proc. American Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, 1989.
Power Conference, 1973. 11. Bates, R.C., F.J. Heymann, V.P. Swaminathan, and
5. Craig, H.R.M. and G. Hobson, “The Development of J.W. Cunningham, Steam Turbine Blades: Considerations
Long Last-Stage Turbine Blades”, GEC J. of Science and in Design and a Survey of Blade Failures, Final Report
Technology, Vol. 40, No. 2, 1973, pp. 65-71. CS-1967, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, August, 1981.

6. Weaver, F.L., “Turbine Bucket Design”, ASME Paper 12. Gandy, D.W., S.J. Findlan, J.T. Stover, M. Breslin, S.
No. 74-Pet-30, 1974. Allgood, E.V. Clark, State-of-the-Art Weld Repair
Technology for Rotating Components, Volume 2: Repair
7. Bates, R.C., J.W. Cunningham, N.E. Dowling, F.J. of Steam Turbine Blading, Final Report TR-107021, EPRI,
Heymann, O. Jonas, L.D. Kunsman, A.R. Pebler, V.P. Palo Alto, CA, November, 1996.
Swaminathan, L.E. Willertz, and T.M Rust, Corrosion
Fatigue of Steam Turbine-Blading Alloys in Operational 13. Peterson, R.E., Stress Concentration Factors, John
Environments, Final Report CS-2932, EPRI, Palo Alto, Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1974.
CA, September, 1984.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 4-11

14. Lazan, B.J., Damping of Materials and Members in 23. Personal communication between R. Ortolano
Structural Mechanics, Pergamon Press, New York, NY, (Turbine RESCUE) and T. McCloskey, November, 1998.
1968. 24. Stodola, A., Steam Turbines with an Appendix on
15. Wagner, J.T., “Blade Damping Tests”, Westinghouse Gas Turbines and the Future of Heat Engines, 1905 and
Engineering Report, ED-401, NOGS N00024-67-C-5494, 1927 editions, translated by L.C. Loewenstein, D. Van
May, 1969. Nostrand Company, New York, NY, 1945.
16. Gotoda, H., “An Analysis on Resonant Stress and 25. Ray, J.L., “Investigation of Materials to Reduce
Damping in Turbine Blades”, Turbine Designing Steam Turbine Blade Wear”, Power, May 26, 1931,
Department, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Kobe, pp. 804-808.
Japan, 1974. 26. Lloyd, W.H., “Avoid Blade Corrosion and Erosion”,
17. Rieger, N.F., “Damping Properties of Steam Turbine Power, April, 1952, pp. 94-97, 204.
Blades”, Proceedings WPAFB Materials Laboratory: 27. Drahy, J., “Water Droplet Erosion of Titanium Alloy
Vibration Damping Workshop, Queen Mary Hilton, Long Steam Turbine Blading”, in R.I. Jaffee, ed., Titanium
Beach, CA, February, 1984. Steam Turbine Blading, held November 9-10, 1988, Palo
18. Allen, J.M., “Characteristics of Nonsynchronous Alto, CA, Workshop Proceedings ER-6538, EPRI, Palo
Vibration of Turbine Blades”, in Stress Technology, Inc., Alto, CA, and Pergamon Press, 1990, pp. 405-426.
Proceedings of the Steam and Combustion Turbine- 28. McCloskey, T.H. and N.F. Rieger, “Assessment
Blading Conference and Workshop—1992, held in Technology for Turbine Blades”, in R. Viswanathan, and
Orlando, FL, January, 29-31, 1992, Proceedings TR-
R.W. Porter, eds. Life Assessment Technology for Fossil
102061, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, April, 1993, pp. 4-45 Power Plants, Proceedings of the American Power
through 4-81. Conference, Volume 57, No. III, American Power
19. Personal communication between T. Lam (Turbine Conference, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL,
Technology International) and T. McCloskey, December pp. 1965-1979.
10, 1998. 29. Jaffee, R.I., “Foreword” in R.I. Jaffee, ed., Titanium
20. Namura, K., K. Ikeuchi, T. Tan, T. Lam, and E. Wan, Steam Turbine Blading, held November 9-10, 1988, Palo
“Development of New 20.9-Inch Next-To-Last Stage Alto, CA, Workshop Proceedings ER-6538, EPRI, Palo
Blade for Improved Turbine Reliability and Efficiency”, Alto, CA, and Pergamon Press, 1990.
American Power Conference, 1998. 30. Speidel, M.O., “Corrosion-Fatigue of Steam Turbine
21. Whitehead, D.S., “A Finite Element Solution of Blade Materials”, in R.I. Jaffee, ed., Corrosion Fatigue of
Unsteady Flow in Cascades”, International Journal of Steam Turbine Blade Materials, Workshop Proceedings
Numerical Methods for Fluids, Volume 10, 1990, pp. held in Palo Alto, CA, September 21-24, 1981, Pergamon
13-34. Press, New York, NY, 1983, pp. 1-1 through 1-23.
22. Sanders, W.P., The Procurement of Replacement 31. Roach, D.B., The Potential for Duplex Stainless
Steam Turbine Blading, Forham Printing Company, Ltd., Steels for Utility Applications, Final Report RD-3401,
Toronto, Canada, 1993. Distributed by Turbomachinery EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, January, 1984.
International, Norwich, CT.

4-12 Turbine Blading Design I

Chapter 5 • Volume 1

Turbine Blading Design II:

Stresses, Evaluation of
Frequency Response,
and Aerodynamics
5.1 Introduction Many of the most serious damage
Figure 5-1 illustrates the primary mechanisms in blades occur in the
factors that affect blade life in both phase transition zone (PTZ) where
fossil and nuclear units: stresses, the expansion and cooling of steam
the environment, and the material leads to condensation. This region
properties. Loading on rotating typically starts in LP turbines around
blades includes both steady state the L-0 or L-1 rows in fossil units.
loads (centrifugal and steam pres- In addition to operating in the most
sure loads) and dynamic loads severe environment in the turbine,
(non-steady steam forces, nozzle blades in these rows are also typi-
wakes, recirculation, etc.). The cally subjected to the highest
steady and dynamic stresses pro- stresses. As a result, significant
duced are determined by the nature attention must be paid to under-
of the loads. The level of dynamic standing how these factors develop
stresses is also determined by the and how their interactions lead to
structural stiffness, frictional damp- steam path damage.
ening, and mass properties of the Analysis of the actual stress state in
blade and blade groupings. a blade is complicated by a number
The steam environment imposed of factors. In fact, until about 20
on blades and connections can years ago, turbine blades were
have a major detrimental effect on designed primarily by extrapolation
the blade life. This occurs through from prior field experience and
the transport and concentration of laboratory tests, and, as vibratory
steam impurities as described in stresses could not be accurately
Chapters 7 and 8. Similarly, as determined, blade strength was
described in Chapter 4, the choice based primarily on calculated
of material and key properties such steady stresses.2 Dynamic oscillat-
as fatigue strength, yield and ulti- ing stresses are complex and
mate strength, and corrosion usually require verification by aero-
fatigue strength, and material dynamic testing. The analysis of
damping characteristics, will affect blade stresses is complicated by
the expected lifetime of the blade
in service.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 5-1

These various estimates of accuracy
Steady pertain to both fossil and nuclear
steam forces Required turbine blading.
Centrifugal Steady The analyses of loading on blades
forces stress and the resultant stresses are thus
Blade rather complex. The intent in the
structure Blade balance of this chapter is not to
life attempt to make the reader an
Non-steady experienced blade designer, but to
excitation Dynamic provide an overview of the nature
Time to failure Environment
stresses of the static and dynamic stresses
Damping imposed on blades and thus lay
the groundwork for subsequent
discussions of specific damage
mechanisms, their root causes, and
corrective actions.
Figure 5-1. Many parameters affect turbine blade life. Adapted from: T. McCloskey
and N.F. Rieger1
5.2 Turbine Blade Stresses
the geometric complexity As a general rule, steady loads can There is a myriad of static and
(tapered/twisted configurations and be defined to within 2-5% of actual dynamic stresses and loads on tur-
asymmetric sections), and the inter- values. bine blades, particularly the longer
actions of the various modes of blades of the LP turbine. Table 5-1
Dynamic loads are much more
damping (material, frictional and provides a list of the most common
difficult to predict. Measurements
aerodynamic) in the blade. stresses/loads on LP blades and
of blade excitation can be made in
their source or root cause; it is not
Blade designs represent an on- the low pressure turbine directly
meant to be exhaustive. Table 5-1
going compromise between aerody- using strain gages, or indirectly by
also shows specific actions to evalu-
namic design, thermodynamic effi- measuring pressures with a pitot
ate the severity of a particular stress
ciency, and structural reliability. A tube. However, it is difficult to make
component along with options that
primary concern is vibration which measurements on high tempera-
can be taken to reduce the level of
can induce significant damage over ture/pressure rotating blades at
the particular source of stress.
a short period; vibration can be operating conditions. As a result,
either synchronous or non-synchro- experimental determination in the Table 5-2 indicates the primary
nous. In the simplest terms, loads laboratory has been most commonly sources of stress that are germane
are synchronous when the blades performed using air turbine tests to HP and IP blades.
are exposed to the same dynamic and water table studies. 2,4-6 In Blades in nuclear and fossil tur-
forces with each rotation and the water table studies, the water flows bines are mostly affected by the
excitation frequencies are integral radially outward, passing first same types of stresses; further, the
multiples of running speed. through a stationary row, then magnitude of the stresses tend to
Unsteady flows that cause excitation through a rotating row of blades. be about the same. Blades in
forces that result in frequencies that The height of the water table flow is nuclear units are longer, but the
are not multiples of the running proportional to the steam pressure machines typically rotate at 1500 or
speed are termed non-synchronous. in an operating turbine and thus can 1800 rpm instead of 3000 or 3600
It is important to understand the be related to the forces of excitation rpm and thus the magnitude of the
accuracy to which the various stress on the rotating blades. centrifugal stress (the highest mag-
contributions can be determined. The probable accuracy with which nitude blade stress), by design, is
Centrifugal stresses are usually the non-steady forces can be predicted about the same.
major load and are typically accu- from laboratory tests is between 5.2.1 Centrifugal stresses.
rately known as a function of speed 20-40%.3 Excitations arising from
Centrifugal loads, caused by rota-
(within 1%). Aerodynamic (steam) nozzle wakes, diaphragm vane tion, are the primary source of stress
loads are often much smaller and spacing errors, and partial arc on blades. The centrifugal loads on
depend on stage power output; they admission have all been addressed HP and IP blades are relatively
are typically known to within 2-5%.3 using the water table approach, small as the blades are short, and
and in some cases, have been veri-
fied in the field.

5-2 Turbine Blading Design II

Table 5-1
Stress Types and Sources in LP Turbine Blades
Specific actions to evaluate severity
Stress Type/Load Source/Root Cause of stress/load Specific mitigation options (see note 1)

Centrifugal tensile Rotation of blade. • Finite element analysis (FEA) and fatigue life • Reduce stresses in blade roots by enlarging
stresses analysis. If cracking is occurring in the hook radii or other geometry change
hooks/serrations should also determine the to reduce stress concentration.
sensitivity of variations in hook clearances. • Improve hook-to-hook contact between
• Visual check of relative clearances of blade- the root and disc; decrease assembly
to-root hooks or serration. tolerances.
• Reduce weight such as by use of a lighter
shroud, cover or blade (titanium, for
• Adopt freestanding design (eliminate
shroud) to reduce weight and thus hook

Geometric untwisting Centrifugal force induced • If cracking is occurring in shroud/coverband • None.

untwisting of blade. or tiewire areas may need a FEA analysis
to determine the extent of geometric

Centrifugal bending A result of blade response to • This effect is typically used by designers to • Not usually practical.
stresses centrifugal forces because of offset some of the steam bending forces.
section centroids at different Thus, it typically helps prevent fatigue fail-
height do not fall on the ures. Can check dimensions to make sure
same radial line. that proper offsets have been used.

Steam bending loads Consists of both steady and • FEA to determine magnitude and direction • Reduce stresses in blade roots by redesign
dynamic components of steam loads. such as by enlarging the hook radii to
induced by steam moving reduce stress concentration.
within the blade path.

Synchronous Can be produced by a vari- • Use FEA to compute frequencies, mode • Identify by analysis those blades that are
resonance ety of phenomena such as shapes, and stress distributions for each within approximately 10 Hz of the nearest
of blades with a nozzle-wake interactions, mode. harmonic.
harmonic of the non-uniform pressures, flow • Plot resonant stresses on a Campbell dia- • Redesign to reduce resonant stresses such
unit running speed. bending, and geometrically- gram to compare locations of crack initia- as by optimizing the blade profile, airfoil
induced flow unsteadiness tion with predicted regions of high stress. and width.
(see main text).
• Tuning strategies, such as:
– Add/reduce weight to alter frequencies
and resonances. Use Campbell diagram.
– Add structural material or Coulomb
damping to alter resonance and/or reduce
resonance stresses.
– Add/move tiewires or tenons to change
stiffness of blade or disc, thus altering
resonances and stresses.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 5-3

Table 5-1
Stress Types and Sources in LP Turbine Blades (continued)
Specific actions to evaluate severity
Stress Type/Load Source/Root Cause of stress/load Specific mitigation options (see note 1)

Non-uniform flows. Can be produced by a vari- For synchronous vibration: For synchronous vibrations:
ety of phenomena such as • Use FEA to compute frequencies, mode • Identify by analysis those blades which are
nozzle-wake interactions, shapes, and stress distributions for each within 10 Hz of the nearest harmonic.
non-uniform pressures, flow mode. • Redesign to reduce resonant stresses.
bending, and geometrically-
• Plot resonant stresses on a Campbell • Tuning strategies, such as:
induced flow unsteadiness
diagram to compare locations of crack initi-
(see main text). – Add/reduce weight to alter frequencies
ation with predicted regions of high stress.
and resonances. Use Campbell and or
• Directly measure blade vibration and/or interference diagram.
perform modal testing for blade-disc
– Add material or Coulomb damping to
combinations. See Chapter 10 for
reduce resonance stresses.
additional detail.
• May be able to match harmonics to source. – Add/move tiewires or tenons to change
See Table 5-3. stiffness of blade or disc.
• Redesign of steam admission and discharge
For non-synchronous vibrations: areas to reduce intensity of excitation.
• Can use a dynamic pressure probe to mea-
For non-synchronous vibrations:
sure local velocities.
• Will depend on the source.
• Use blade vibration monitor to determine
affected blades in a row and magnitude of
excitation. See Chapter 10.
• For per-revolution diaphragm harmonics.
– Analyze the Fourier spectrum of the nozzle
throat dimensions to identify principal
harmonics. (May not predict magnitudes).
– Use specialty flow codes to calculate the
magnitude of harmonics as a function of
geometry and flow parameters.

Blade torsional A variety of causes including • Use FEA to analyze coupled vibrations • Change frequency of rotor by adding/
vibration induced rotor torsional loading and of blades and discs. Determine natural subtracting rotor or blade weight.
from rotor or disc various blade-disc interac- frequencies and response stresses. • Change frequency of blades by adding/
tions. (See main text). • Include the effects of blade dynamics, subtracting weight or changing the stiffness
particularly in those rows that interact near of the blades.
synchronous frequency and at two times • Provide appropriate controls to prohibit
the synchronous frequency. In fossil units operation outside recommended
this will typically be the last two stages and frequencies.
in nuclear units the last three stages.
• Use blade vibration monitor or perform
modal testing of blade-disc combination.
See Chapter 10.
• Strain gage rotor to detect torsional
• For retrofits, models can be calibrated using
stationary frequency impact testing.
• For retrofits can confirm through field
torsional testing using transient bump test-
ing and off-line single phase ramp test.

5-4 Turbine Blading Design II

Table 5-1
Stress Types and Sources in LP Turbine Blades (continued)
Specific actions to evaluate severity
Stress Type/Load Source/Root Cause of stress/load Specific mitigation options (see note 1)

Self-excitation Includes stall flutter, • For flutter, confirm that damage appears in For stall flutter:
unstalled flutter and groups of blades. • Avoid operation of unit at extreme
unsteady condensation • Determine whether flutter is occurring in the off-design load conditions, specifically
shocks. unit at low load and high backpressure increase minimum load and/or increase
using a blade vibration monitoring system. backpressure.
• Calculate aerodynamic damping coefficient • Redesign to use continuous tie strategies
using FEA to calculate unsteady aerody- to provide restraint at cover tips.
namic loading. • Redesign blade sections to install various
damping devices such as “Z” cuts in
shrouds and loose tiewires.

For unstalled flutter (not as well under-

stood as stalled flutter):
• Establish aeroelastic properties of blades
to identify marginally stable modes.
• Use mixed-tuned blades (alternating blades
with natural frequencies sufficiently different
from one another) to decouple aerodynamic
• Apply damping devices between blade
• Consider derating unit to within load
conditions that do not cause excessive
stresses in the blades of the latter stages.

Start-stop transients Loading induced by various • Examine regions of stress concentration, • As for centrifugal tensile stresses above.
and overspeeds. modes of turbine operation. particularly hook regions, for signs of
• Plot number of unit start-stops versus blade
failures—may be able to detect a trend that
will indicate low cycle fatigue as caused by
start-stop transients.
• Use finite element analysis (FEA), fatigue
life, and fracture mechanics analysis to
evaluate the potential for short low cycle
fatigue lives.

Manufacture and Includes a variety of effects • Visual or magnetic particle examination and • Depends on source, may require redesign.
assembly stresses and sources such as measurements to identify suspect features. • In the case of localized residual stresses
(i) bending induced by • FEA analysis of local stress concentrations. from weld repair heat treatment may be
shroud and lashing wire useful.
loads, (ii) stress concentra-
tions caused by assembly
and attachment tolerances,
(iii) increased loads caused
by attachment constraints,
and (iv) residual stresses
from assembly such as cold
working or weld repair.

Note 1: Many of these options will require the utility to seek outside consulting or OEM assistance.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 5-5

Table 5-2
Primary Stress Types and Sources Affecting the Fatigue of HP and IP Turbine Blades
Extent in HP and, if potentially severe,
Stress Type/Load Source/Root Cause actions to evaluate severity of stress/load

Steam bending loads Consists of both steady and dynamic components. Can be significant when blades are subjected to partial
Induced by steam moving within the blade path. arc admission operation. See further discussion in
“non-uniform flows” below.
• Use finite element analysis (FEA) to calculate effect of
steam bending loads, particularly when using partial
or sequential arc operation.
• Calculate expected fatigue life using fatigue or fracture
mechanics methods. See Chapter 6.

Non-uniform flows Can be produced by a variety of phenomena in the For synchronous vibration:
HP and IP turbine such as nozzle-wake interactions, • Use FEA to compute stress distributions.
non-uniform pressures, partial arc or sequential arc
• Calculate expected fatigue life using fatigue or fracture
admission, flow bending, geometrically-induced flow
mechanics methods. See Chapter 6 for detail.
unsteadiness, diaphragm harmonics.
For non-synchronous vibrations:
• As for synchronous vibration.
• For per-revolution diaphragm harmonics.
– Analyze the Fourier spectrum of the nozzle throat
dimensions to identify principal harmonics. (Will
not predict magnitudes).
– Use proprietary codes to calculate the magnitude
of harmonics as a function of geometry and flow
• Will also depend on source, for example for partial
arc admission can change arcs of admission or valve
sequencing, switch to full arc or switch to sliding
pressure operation.

Manufacture and assembly Includes a variety of effects and sources such as (i) bend- Could be a problem in HP and IP.
stresses ing induced by shroud loads, (ii) stress concentrations • Visual or magnetic particle examination and measure-
caused by assembly and attachment tolerances, (iii) ment of suspect features.
increased loads caused by attachment constraints, and
• FEA analysis of local stress concentration.
(iv) residual stresses from assembly such as tenon cold

the diameter small because of the shows a typical distribution of stresses on a blade can increase to
relatively low volumetric flows. In centrifugal stresses and the benefits as high as 75% of the material’s
contrast, as a rule of thumb, in typi- associated with the use of titanium yield strength.8
cal last row LP turbine blades (because of its lower material Centrifugal stresses can also have a
(unshrouded), the steady stresses density). dramatic effect in those locations
will be roughly 0.5 Sy over about half Centrifugal stresses are generally where there are stress concentra-
the blade airfoil length, and in proportional to the square of the tions such as in the root attachment9
excess of 0.25Sy over about 80% speed, i.e., a 120% overspeed will and at tiewire holes.10 For example,
of that length8, where Sy is the yield produce a 1.44 times increase in the in the blade root, where stress con-
strength of the material. Figure 5-2 centrifugal load. As a result, during centrations are high, design steady
overspeed tests, the centrifugal stresses are lower than the above

5-6 Turbine Blading Design II

maximum, perhaps in the range of
0.2 to 0.4 Sy .8 However during Stress, σ, (MPa)
startup, dynamic centrifugal 250
stresses, near to these stress con- Stress due to centrifugal forces
centrations can exceed the yield L-1 blade, 60 Hz
strength as described in Section
5.2.9. Also actual stresses are
strongly influenced in the local
geometry. For example, in those X 20 CrMoV121
designs where multiple hooks share 150 (12% Cr)
the load, variations in the gap
between blade and disc in the root
attachment can lead to a wide varia-
tion in actual stresses. This is dis- Ti6Al4V
cussed in more detail below in
Section 5.2.10 on manufacturing
and assembly stresses. 50
High mean stresses, such as those
induced by centrifugal loads, have a
pronounced detrimental effect on 0
0 0.5 1.0
the fatigue strength of high strength
Relative Blade Length
materials such as blading alloys. A
Goodman diagram, described in
more detail in Chapter 6 illustrates
Figure 5-2. Centrifugal stresses in a typical blade comparing two
dramatically the effect of mean and materials: X20CrMoV121 (12% Cr) and Ti-6Al-4V. Source: A.
cyclic stress levels. Atrens, H. Meyer, G. Faber, and K. Schneider7

5.2.2 Geometric untwisting.

Centrifugal forces can induce
Centrifugal Centrifugal
untwisting of the blade. Such a bending effect bending effect
shape change causes direct blade
stresses, changes the blade’s natural
frequency, and causes flow geome- dX dY
try distortion. This loading, and the
next, centrifugal bending, affect
longer blades of the LP much more
than blades in the HP or IP turbine.
of steam
5.2.3 Centrifugal bending stresses. flow
This stress component arises when
the section centroids at different Steam
blade heights do not fall on the same effect Steam
radial line. Especially, in long blades, bending
designers typically use this effect to effect
help offset the steam bending
CF Is the centrifugal load of
stresses, as illustrated in Figure 5-3. the blade
5.2.4 Steam bending loads. dY Is the displacement in the
tangential direction
Both steady state and dynamic
bending loads are induced on the dX Is the displacement in the
axial direction
blade as a result of the flow of steam
within the blade path. Steady steam GG Is a radial line passing
through the root section
center of gravity
GV Is a line through the profile
Figure 5-3. Origin of centrifugal bending centers of gravity of each
stresses in the tangential and axial section
directions. Source: W.P. Sanders16

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 5-7

bending loads are discussed here, lower modes (less than 300 Hz) can leads to increased wake, too thin
the effect of non-uniform flows in the dramatically reduce the dynamic will be difficult to manufacture and
next section. Steam bending loads stresses that develop. If such tuning have unacceptable strength levels.
are important in both HP/IP and LP is not performed, high cycle fatigue • Separation wake caused by pre-
blade design. failures caused by resonance can mature separation of the flow
occur within a relatively short period
Steady steam bending stresses in before reaching the trailing edge.
(several weeks to less than a year).
the blade airfoil are typically low, These waves can be caused by
A 3% margin is typically used in
less than 10% of the centrifugal insufficient design or by operating
tuned rows to allow for scatter from
stresses in rotating blades. In the at off design conditions and can
installation, manufacturing and
lashing wires, steady steam stresses lead to a larger wake with poten-
may be several times higher than in tially large flow fluctuations.
the airfoil because of stress concen- Case Study I in Chapter 20 offers an • Non-uniform deposits can trip
tration effects, but the centrifugal excellent example of a harmonic boundary layers.
stresses are lower. resonance in L-2 blade rows. In that
instance, the natural frequency of • Shock waves and expansion
A method for calculating steady
the sixth axial mode resonance was waves. Shock waves can be
steam bending forces in rotating
298.8 Hz, only 1.2 Hz away from the formed when supersonic veloci-
blades has been reported by Hong,
sixth harmonic of the running speed ties are reached in the stationary
et al.11 based on a streamline curva- blade passages. Another flow
at 300 Hz. The result was a time-to-
ture method.12,13 Values of the ther-
failure of several months for the condition that can result in an
modynamic and aerodynamic prop- unsteady flow is the formation of a
coverband connecting blade
erties of the steam as it moves choked, underexpanded jet. This
groups. In this case, a detuning
through a stage are calculated and latter condition can cause excita-
strategy was used and the blade
used to evaluate static pressure and tion in the passing rotating blade
lifetime increased significantly.
velocity distributions, which are in as well as disturbing the flow
turn used to determine the steam 5.2.6 Unsteady, non-uniform flows. through the rotating blade rows.
bending forces in both axial and tan- There are a variety of sources of
gential directions.11 non-uniform flows which lead to • Wave reinforcement. It has been
dynamic (and either synchronous or proposed that reinforcement of
Steady steam bending stresses can waves bouncing between rotating
non-synchronous) stresses on all tur-
significantly affect stationary blades
bine blading. The following are a list and stationary blades in the same
or diaphragms as the differential
of some of the most common row may occur leading to in-
pressure across the section tends to
sources of non-uniform flows: creased wave amplitudes and
try to bend them in the axial direc-
corresponding blade vibrations.17
tion; this effect is greatest in the HP (i) Nozzle-wake interactions and
turbine where interstage pressure other non-uniformities produced by • Moisture impingement. The
differentials are highest, particularly stationary blades. Nozzle-wake impingement of moisture coming
in impulse designs. However, interactions are the aerodynamic off stationary blades and hitting
because the blades are shorter, the force fluctuations seen by a rotating the rotating blades can result
maximum stresses may not occur in blade as it passes each stationary in forces on LP blades (as well
stages with the highest pressure dif- blade or traverses each stationary as erosion) and thus induce
ferentials. blade pitch.8 They are among the vibration.
most pervasive sources of synchro- Of these sources the first three (vis-
5.2.5 Synchronous resonance of a nous excitation in steam turbines. cous wakes, trailing edge thickness
blade with a harmonic of the unit They occur at the nozzle passing and separation wakes) affect HP, IP
running speed. A primary goal of frequency and its harmonics.8 Key and LP turbine blades. The last
blade design is to tune the longer contributors to nozzle-wake excita- three (shock waves, wave reinforce-
turbine blades away from multiples tions occur from15: ment and moisture impingement)
of unit running speed (harmonics). occur in LP turbines.
• Viscous wake caused by the
Blades typically have a sharp fre-
presence of a boundary layer. Figure 5-4 shows one example of
quency response, typically on the
order of ± a few Hz, and thus virtu- • Trailing edge thickness. A turbu- these types of non-uniform flows.
ally no vibrational amplitude unless lent wake is formed by the pas- The figure illustrates the variation of
the exciting force is relatively close sage of flow past a stationary the steam force across the dis-
to, or at, a resonance frequency. blade. There is a design tradeoff charge from a fixed blade row that
Thus, even a nominal degree of pertaining to the thickness of the will result in non-uniform loading on
tuning off resonance (3 to 5 Hz) for blade’s trailing edge, too thick the passing rotating blades.

5-8 Turbine Blading Design II

(ii) Spatially non-uniform flows
caused by geometric asymmetries. Flow
This category includes non-uniform Stationary
pressures, velocities or angles of blades
flow onto the rotating blade. These
can be caused by asymmetry of
major geometrical features such as8:
• Partial admission or sequential
arc operation. Partial arc admis-
sion is utilized to minimize throt-
tling losses in the HP control
valves and thus improve heat rate
at low load operation. The blades
experience asymmetric (stepwise)
Figure 5-4. The variation of steam pressure/force across the dis-
load transients as they move in charge from a stationary blade row. Arrows indicate the magni-
and out of admission arcs. tude of the steam force. Source: W.P. Sanders18
Details of such loadings were first
obtained by Kroon.19 This prob-
lem is typically a major source of Transient Load
excitation in some small turbines 3
and in the high pressure control Water table blade response
0° 2
stage of large turbines.
Figure 5-5 illustrates the effect as 1
determined from water table test-
ing. The stationary row was set 270° 90° 0
up to allow flow through a limited
number of open arcs (shown by
the shaded arcs in the left side of
180° -2
the figure). The water table blade 0° 90° 180° 270°
response curve (right side of Angle, Degrees
Figure 5-5) is indicative of the
response of the rotating blade of
an operating turbine under partial Figure 5-5. Results of water table testing to simulate the response of a high pressure
admission conditions. The key blade as it passes in front of an open arc in partial admission operation. The water
table was set up with 4 open arcs spaced around the circumference of the stationary
observation is the periodic stimu- stage (left). The response on a rotating blade (right) indicates that a stimulus is
lus applied to the blade as it applied each time the blade passes by an open arc. Source: N.F. Rieger and T.H.
passes the open arc. McCloskey3
Pigott and Warner2 found that the
effect of partial admission could admission mode; as a result, in and exhaust of steam at a turbine
be divided into shock and a this instance, a recommendation element require bending of the
nozzle-wake component and the was made to minimize the amount flow and thus can cause circum-
separate effects superimposed to of operating time in the 1-2 ferential pressure or velocity
determine the combined vibration mode.20 It should be noted that non-uniformities.
response. this was a precautionary measure, • Steam extraction paths.
as it was also indicated that the
The pressure differences across (iii) Unsteadiness in the flow pas-
stress increase was probably not
the first (control) stage between sages. Flow perturbations can be
sufficient by itself to cause crack
areas of open and closed arcs introduced by unsteadiness in the
initiation by high cycle fatigue.
can be as high as 100-200%. stationary flow passages including8:
The results of a finite element Sanders18 has suggested that the
based numerical analysis found stress effects of partial arc admis- • Acoustical resonances in inlet
that operating in the 1-2 mode sion are applicable for any active passages, extraction lines or
(valves 1 and 2 were open) lead arc less than 96% of full arc. other cavities excited by flow
to steady steam bending stresses past them.
• Flow bending at radial inlet and
that were approximately 2-4 times exhaust of steam. Radial inlet
higher than in the 1-2-3 or full

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 5-9

• Vortex shedding from staybars, structions.14 The lower frequency currents in the generator stator.
etc.21 torsional resonances in the shaft do These stator currents, termed
not generally interact with blades; “negative sequence currents”,
• Unsteady flow separation from
however the higher frequencies, par- cause an alternating torque to act
stationary blades, etc.
ticularly the frequency at two times on the rotor system at twice the
• Unsteady shocks in choked sta- the power system frequency, can be transmission grid frequency of
tionary blade passages. a significant problem. These loads 60 Hz.14 Sources of such load
• Surface pressure fluctuations are typically in the range that inter- imbalance can include: cutoff of
caused by impingement of turbu- act with the natural frequencies of load, line accidents, subsynchro-
lent flow onto rotating blade the longer (tuned) blades of the nous resonance or a short in the
shrouds, discs, etc. LP turbine. generator terminals.25

• “Edge tones” or other acoustical • Blade-disc interactions. Blade Torsional modes near this fre-
noise generation phenomena. and disc interactions may be quency tend to be highly coupled
strongly coupled. If this occurs, to disc-blade modes and as a
(iv) Flow over rotating blades can result considerable high cycle
resonance conditions are not
also induce unsteadiness such fatigue damage can be imparted
well predicted by the traditional
as by8: to LP blades, particularly in the
methods of plotting blade
• Boundary layer pressure fluctua- frequencies versus machine fre- last stages from the phenomenon
tions. quencies, e.g., Campbell dia- illustrated schematically in Figure
• Vortex shedding from blade trail- gram.22 Lam, et al.23 provide a 5-6. Failures caused by this
procedure for analyzing blade- mechanism have been reported
ing edges causing unsteady
disc response and a case study in fossil units24,26 and in nuclear
aerodynamic force.
comparing the results of an analy- units.27
(v) Per revolution diaphragm har- sis of a blade group versus a A number of researchers have
monics can result from dimensional blade-disc analysis. The most reported on the analysis of disc-
imperfections in the flow passage important results of that analysis blade interactions, specifically
geometry, particularly from variations were that significant differences related to avoiding unwanted res-
in nozzle throat dimensions.3 did exist between the blade- onances (see for example, refs.
(vi) Other structural features. Flow group and blade-disc models, 24, 25, 28-31). The aims of such
disturbances can also be caused particularly when predicting axial analyses are to evaluate blade
from structural features (other than and torsional modes of vibration. and disc dynamics and to avoid
from stationary blades) such as: (i) • System disruptions leading to resonances with the electrical
staybars (struts) in the inlet chamber rotor torsional modes. Rotor tor- grid frequency. Two examples
and in the exhaust hood, (ii) mois- sional vibrations can be excited illustrate the typical methodology.
ture removal slots, and (iii) axial or by electrical faults in the distribu- Higuchi and Tsuda29 performed a
radial spacing between seal ends or tion system. These torsional torsional vibration analysis of the
stationary blade shroud ends.8 vibrations can lead to consider- LP turbine in a 1160 MW nuclear
The term “stimulus” is used to able damage to the rotor and unit; of particular concern were
describe unsteady blade loading. blading, and have lead to a num- frequencies near 120 Hz. They
Stimulus is the ratio of the blade ber of blade failures in the power found as many as 45 torsional
unsteady loading amplitude at a industry.24 The turbine generator natural modes in the frequency
given harmonic to the steady com- system may respond to subsyn- range below 180 Hz. The natural
ponent level. chronous, synchronous or super- modes included fundamental
synchronous (typically two times modes, higher modes of the shaft,
5.2.7 Blade vibration induced from the running speed, e.g., 120 Hz and blade-shaft interactions.29
rotor or disc torsional vibrations. for 60 Hz turbines) frequencies. Torsional modes above 70 Hz
Several potential sources of blade Design of pre-1975 machines were mostly caused by coupled
vibration can be induced through typically evaluated the potential effects between the blade, shaft
attachment to the rotor or disc. The for synchronous vibrations, but and disc. Field tests measured
vibrational modes created by the were not designed for frequency the blade induced vibrations
interaction of the disc mass/stiffness resonances equal to two times caused by short circuits induced
and blades must be taken into the running speed.24 These reso- at the generator terminals and
account to clearly identify all poten- nances occur as a result of load concluded that, in this case, the
tial resonance modes, particularly imbalance on the three phases blades of the L-0 row were well
for shrunk-on or flexible disc con- which can induce secondary tuned away from 120 Hz.

5-10 Turbine Blading Design II

Frequency in Hz


Continuous operation

Restricted time
operating frequency limits

Prohibited operation
Figure 5-6. Schematic of rotor-blade coupled torsional vibra- 0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100
tion. Source: E. Tsunoda, H. Mimuro, S. Hisa, H. Sakakida, and Time in Minutes
S. Mori25

Reid24 provided a detailed case Figure 5-7. Steam turbine partial or full load operating limita-
tions during abnormal frequency, representing composite worst-
study that evaluated coupled case limitations of five manufacturers. Source: ANSI32
blade-rotor torsional vibration in
anticipation of a major low pres-
various rotor disc designs, such bines at low load and high back-
sure blade retrofit. That analysis
as monoblock, shrunk-on discs, pressures when the blades expe-
analyzed the natural frequencies
and welded construction, and as rience a negative angle of attack
and response stresses for a sys-
a result of these differences, in the at least over the upper portion of
tem that included a combined HP,
torsional response characteristics their length. This condition is
IP and two LP turbines along with
of each, particularly in the higher illustrated in Figure 5-8 where the
a generator and exciter. Bladed
torsional modes.31 angle of attack approaching the
discs were modeled as branch
rotating blade is shown for normal
elements. The model developed • Over- and underfrequency opera-
operation (velocity vector labeled
was confirmed using stationary tion. Prolonged operation at small
variations from 60 Hz (islanding) V2 ) and, in contrast, for off design
frequency impact or “bump” test-
or low load conditions (velocity
ing on the rotor with and without can cause increased dynamic
vector labeled V2 , off ). A region of
blades. It was important that loading on tuned blades. Figure
stall can form on the trailing side
impact test data be obtained for 5-7 shows a composite of the lim-
of the blade as shown in the figure
all blades with interactions in the its on frequency operation from
and will result in a form of unsta-
frequency range of interest. For five manufacturers. The figure
ble vibration termed stall flutter.
fossil units this is typically the L-0 shows that operation in the range
Stall flutter is a serious potential
stage only; in nuclear units, the 59.5 - 60.5 Hz would not affect
cause of blade damage as a con-
last three rows are typically blade life, while outside this range
blade life will be affected.33 Note siderable number of cycles can
required. Following a redesign
accumulate in a very short period
and retrofit of the L-0 row, field that this figure indicates worst
of time leading to blade failure by
torsional testing was done using a case allowable times at particular
high cycle fatigue.
system transient bump test. The operating levels; specific turbines
test was used to detect torsional may not have such restrictive Investigation of stall flutter has a
modes around 60 and 120 HZ. values.33 long history including fundamen-
The test was performed by manu- tal work by Sisto in the early
ally synchronizing and tripping 5.2.8 Self-excitation. Three primary 1950s.34 Flutter is an aeroelastic
the machine and measuring the types of self excited turbine blade instability that occurs when
resulting noise spikes. A single vibration phenomena have been energy is ex-changed between
phase ramp test was also used to defined: stall flutter, unstalled flutter, the fluid and the structure in a
excite the system at double line and unsteady condensation shocks. manner that creates self excita-
frequency.24 • Stall flutter. Stall flutter is similar tion. Flutter is limited only by
to the well known “stall” of an air- the damping capability of the
There are considerable differ-
plane wing. In steam turbines, it blade material and the structural
ences in torsional stiffness of the
occurs in the last row of LP tur-

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 5-11

Some of the methods available for
Stationary blading
the analysis of unstalled flutter are
reviewed by Evans37 and include:
(i) the FINSUP computer code38,39
V2 V1 which calculates work for a
V1 vibrating blade as determined by
V2 modal analysis, and (ii) the
W Influence Coefficient Method
V2, off W = Wheel speed which determines unstalled flutter
V1 = Outlet steam boundaries from experimental
velocity data. Whitehead’s method deter-
V2 = Inlet steam mines the unsteady forces acting
velocity (normal) on the blade. It also determines
Rotating blades V2, off = Inlet steam work coefficients which when cou-
velocity pled with steam density and blade
(off-design) stiffness can then be converted to
aerodynamic damping.39 If the
aerodynamic damping is negative,
Figure 5-8. Stall flutter of LP blades during low load/high exhaust the aerodynamic forces reinforce
pressure operation. Stall develops when the angle of attack is as blade motion and the blade
shown for V2 , off instead of normal V2 . becomes unstable.
An Aeroelastic Stability Index
damping. Stable flutter can occur operating speed. Aerodynamic (ASI) has been defined which
only when the aerodynamic forces can be calculated from the combines calculation of aerody-
power flow to the blade is equal pressure distribution derived from namic damping, mechanical
to or greater than the dissipative a separate two dimensional cas- damping based on blade vibration
power of the blade and structure. cade analysis using compressible test data, and a moisture effect
As it is difficult to measure or cal- inviscid flow for a range of flow deduced from BVM tests.37
culate structural damping, a con- angles corresponding to different Blade response rises rapidly as
servative analysis ignores that operating conditions.35 a function of increase in steam
component. An extensive study density, indicating that unsteady
Considerable effort has been
of the potential for flutter was con- aerodynamic forces required for
spent analyzing and developing
ducted by Omprakash, et al.35 for unstalled flutter are more likely at
design methods to avoid stall flut-
last stage blading in a 3600 RPM maximum load conditions.
ter. Common testing methods
machine. The model developed include cascade, model and/or In one case, cracking occurred in
is described along with the results full scale testing.36 An alternative groups of free standing titanium
of a particular analysis. They approach is to make the blade blades of an L-1 row.41 An
concluded that the bladed disc strong enough to resist the analysis showed that for certain
under analysis was not suscepti- dynamic stresses resulting from inter-blade phase angles, the
ble to flutter at loads of 50, 75 stall flutter. aerodynamic damping was signif-
or 100% the design condenser
backpressure of 5.08 kPa (1.5 in. • Unstalled flutter. Unstalled flutter icantly negative: the condition
Hg). However, at a higher back- occurs without stall conditions, was worse at high load than low
pressure of 10.16 kPa (3.0 in. Hg) particularly in low pressure tur- load operation.
the first tangential mode became bines that operate at relatively A potential solution to minimize
aerodynamically unstable. A high flow rates. In unstalled flut- unstalled flutter is the mixed tun-
further increase in back pressure ter there is generally no actual ing of blades.41,42
would make all the modes aero- flow separation (the flow remains
dynamically unstable. attached to the airfoil at all times), • Unsteady condensation shocks.
and the flow is not obstructed due When steam expands through a
Flutter stability can be determined diverging passage, condensation
to a high backpressure.14 Unstal-
by the net power flow to the led flutter is more likely to affect will be delayed as the saturation
bladed disc at various amplitudes free standing blades which lack line is crossed. This time delay is
of vibration.35 Normal modes of frictional damping. Unstalled caused by non-equilibrium in the
vibration are calculated by a flutter was first detected in the high velocity steam. A certain
bladed disc modal analysis at the field after the development and amount of supersaturation of the
application of a Blade Vibration fluid will occur and then a rela-
Monitor (BVM). 37

5-12 Turbine Blading Design II

tively large amount of moisture
will condense in a small region.
This phenomenon can cause Unit
shock as the fluid condenses. shutdown

Such a phenomenon has been Operating Operating

proposed as an additional load-
ing on blades that should be
incorporated into the design of LP

Stress σ
turbine blades.43 Condensation
shock may also lead to a pres-


Unit sto
Unit sta

sure recovery that can give a vari-
able loading problem. It has also
been suggested that the shock
may move back and forth in the
flow passage interacting with the
boundary layer in low pressure
Time, t
steam turbines producing a self
sustained, non-synchronous
Figure 5-9. Typical stress modes during start-stop and operation.
5.2.9 Start-stop transients/over-
speeds. Large cyclic stresses on experienced in L-0 blades in 200- among the disc and blade hooks
blades can occur during turbine run 1,000 start-stop cycles depending can significantly influence the low
ups and during overspeeds. The on steam environmental condi- cycle fatigue life of the localized
effect is shown schematically in tions.10,14 Clearly, for units which area. Computation of peak
Figure 5-9. Blades will experience a are cycled on a regular basis, a stresses in the blade roots is vital
half stress cycle from zero centrifu- design low cycle fatigue life of less for evaluation of the structural
gal load to full centrifugal load as than 500 start-stop cycles is mar- integrity and life assessment of
the unit starts up. During operation, ginal, particularly given the potential turbine blades. Two examples of
vibratory stresses are imposed on for adverse environmental effects or this type of analysis are pre-
the high mean centrifugal stresses the added stresses that result from sented below.
as indicated schematically by the stress concentration in the gaps
numerous vibratory stress cycles Srivastav, et al.44 performed a
between the blade root and disc
shown in Figure 5-9. With unit shut- displacement based finite ele-
down the centrifugal stress cycle is ment analysis procedure to
completed. address the contact/friction prob-
A case study describing the analysis
lem between blades and discs
These large cyclic stresses are most of start-stop stresses in cracking
including an axial entry blade
prominent on those blades subject around tiewire holes is presented in
with three hooks in which four
to the highest centrifugal stresses, Chapter 20.
cases of varying gaps sizes were
e.g., the longest blades in the last examined. The analysis showed
5.2.10 Manufacture and assembly
few stages of the LP turbine. that as the gap size on the lower
stresses. There are a number of
Distribution of blade loads can two hooks grew larger (up to a
sources of added static and
occur leading to stresses which maximum of 1.0 mil) the stress
dynamic stresses from abnormal
exceed local yield level and lead overload on the top hook grew
manufacture, assembly tolerance,
subsequently to low cycle fatigue significantly. A 23% increase in
and techniques. Some sources of
failures. The problem is particularly the value of the peak effective
these stresses and their effects are:
acute in locations of high stress con- stress and a 25% increase of the
centration such as blade root hooks • Assembly and attachment toler- peak principal tensile stress was
and tiewire holes. It is less common ances. The attachment between calculated. The conclusion from
in the disc rim attachment hooks blade and disc presents a com- that work was that careful consid-
where design stress levels are typi- plicated stress analysis problem. eration of relative clearances and
cally lower. Not only are there stress concen- contact areas is needed to avoid
tration effects in the typical inter- significant underestimation of the
Rotating blade failure can occur in a
locking geometries, but there are blade attachment stresses.
relatively few number of cycles. For
often gaps in the contact loca-
example, crack initiation has been
tions.44 The distribution of load

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 5-13

stage of a 300 MW unit is dis-
) cussed in (ref. 45).
o de
rd • Dynamic stresses can also result
l (3
na from manufacturing imperfections
rsi such as (i) inexact matching of
stationary blade geometry at hori-
zontal joints, (ii) leakage through
(2 Ax
nd ia gaps in stationary blade shrouds
l m l
tia od and diaphragm discs at horizontal
n e) e
e d )
n mo joints, (iii) eccentricity (“run out”)
Tast of rotating blade assembly with
respect to stationary seals, end
walls, or nozzle diaphragms, (iv)
ellipiticity, such as caused by
thermal distortion of stationary
parts such as end walls, seals,
and nozzle diaphragms, and (v)
non-uniform spacing, gauging or
thickness of stationary blades.8

5.3 Frequency Response and

the Campbell Diagram
Natural modes of vibration for tur-
bine blades can be divided into
three basic categories: (i) tangential
modes where blades vibrate per-
pendicular to the axis of the turbine
in the plane of maximum blade
ow flexibility, (ii) axial modes, and (iii)
X- torsional (twisting) vibration. Figure
s ax
xi is 5-10 shows a schematic of the
Y typical first three modes of vibration
of a single blade. These are tan-
gential (1st mode), axial (2nd mode)
and torsional (3rd mode). In prac-
tice, actual blade vibration modes
will typically be a combination of
Figure 5-10. Schematic of typical first three modes of blade these simple cases, and thus field
vibration. vibration will be considerably more
complex even for single blades and
Sarlashkar, et al.9 performed a loads on the blade and the resul- for grouped blades. Because of
study of gap sizes (defined as the tant bending stresses and defor- the complexity in the shape of blade
clearance between the root and mations. vibrations, a number of names for
disc groove bearing lands when the higher modes have been devel-
• Residual stresses induced by
at least one bearing land was in oped and can lead to significant
assembly such as by tenon cold
contact between the root and confusion unless specifically defined
working. Cracks can also be
disc steeple). The stress results for the particular problem being ana-
induced when riveting is over-
showed a potential for low cycle lyzed. The use of computer gener-
done.16 A case study indicating
fatigue failures where stress ated mode shape diagrams, visually
that microcracks in tenons grew
concentrations in this region identifying the displacements and
during operation by a combina-
were excessive. shapes, can be of significant benefit
tion of steady state and dynamic
in understanding how the actual
• Attachment constraints. This stresses in the first tangential
deformations are occurring.
blade stress component can arise mode of vibration leading to
from shroud and lashing wire considerable losses in the L-1

5-14 Turbine Blading Design II

High cycle fatigue of LP turbine
blades usually occurs because of
structural resonances at frequencies 6
synchronous with harmonics of the
running speed. The tuning of longer Rated
blades so that no structural reso- speed
nances occur with the first several
harmonics of rotational frequency 3rd natural frequency
has been standard design practice 4
since the principle was introduced

Frequency - f, Hz
by W. Campbell in 1924.22 Parallel
work was done by D. Smith.46
Subsequent refinement was intro- 3
duced by M. Prohl.47 Blades are 2nd natural frequency
also tuned to avoid frequencies
close to harmonics to allow a margin
(tangential) 2
to account for slight differences in 1st natural frequency
manufacturing and assembly toler-
ances. If these goals are achieved,
only aerodynamic flow excitations H=1
should remain as considerations for
dynamic stresses.
The Campbell diagram provides a
Turbine Speed, rpm
representation of blade natural
frequencies against rotational speed
and machine harmonics as shown in
Figure 5-11. Note that at the rated Figure 5-11. Typical Campbell diagram for a 60 Hz low pressure blade.
speed, the blades are tuned such
that none of the blade natural 7th or 8th harmonic (420-480 Hz) of The frequency response of blades is
frequencies (horizontal bands in running speed.14 This is generally typically verified as part of the man-
the figure) intersects a machine sufficient as the lower modes have ufacturing and quality control
harmonic (or multiple of operating higher associated energies. process and compared to the per-
speed), H. The width of the hori- However, tenon fatigue failures have missible frequencies evaluated
zontal bands indicate expected occurred in the fourth mode (second using a Campbell diagram. Then all
scatter from manufacturing and bending mode) excited by 12th or other effects such as blade fixation
assembly tolerances. The rise in 13th order harmonics. and rotor-blade coupling are added
blade frequencies from zero to rated to the frequency calculation and
speed is caused by “speed” or There is a limitation on the number
compared to the permissible fre-
“spin” stiffening. of modes that can be tuned which
quency window.
is a function of off frequency require-
If the machine speed is above or ments and manufacturing capabil- At higher modes, the frequencies
below the rated level, there can be ity48, illustrated schematically by are more difficult to calculate and
an intersection of the two lines example in Figure 5-12. If, for test. Also, factors such as manu-
leading to a condition of resonance. example, the requirement is that the facturing tolerances, material prop-
Turbines being brought up to speed blade should be off of a resonant erties, root attachment or disc
will undergo multiple resonances, frequency by ± 1.5 Hz and the man- effects, and the effects of deposits
but the flows are typically low and ufacturer can produce blades of a or erosion on the blade vane leading
thus the magnitude of the stress, population that fits within a 40 Hz edge, tend to cause the individual
even amplified by the resonance band, then it is only possible to tune blade frequencies to scatter about
behavior, tends to be low. modes with frequencies below the the calculated frequency.49
Manufacturers generally tune seventh harmonic: Fortunately, at the higher harmonics
through the first three families of the dynamic forces generated are
60– 40 1

modes (tangential, axial, torsional) H≈ ≈7 (5-1) typically lower.50
2  1.5

to avoid resonance up through the

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 5-15

deflections and stresses that result
are fortunately generally low; how-
-1.5 Hz ever, poor environmental conditions
Off-frequency H
can lower the life of the blade under
requirement Manufacturing such loadings. Table 5-3 provides a
distribution diagnostic that allows the operator
to identify what the underlying exci-
tation source may be from the nature
Manufacturing of a particular harmonic.
Frequency, Hz

40 Hz
Asymmetries in the flow that are
both temporally and spatially peri-
odic result in flow induced vibrations
in the blade by buffeting from ran-
dom fluctuations in the flow, by aero-
dynamic instability (which can lead
to blade flutter) or by a combination
H-1 of the two.42 Such excitations are
the result of random fluctuations in
Design the flow and as a result the fre-
quency spectrum is continuous or
Speed, RPM broad band and the Campbell type
plot and methods thus cannot be
used to guard against failure.
The Campbell diagram can, how-
Figure 5-12. Schematic of limitations on blade tuning imposed by manufacturing ever, be used to predict the frequen-
capability and tuning requirements. Source: R. Pigott, L.D. Kramer, R.J. Ortolano, and
cies of individual blades, or some
R.I. Jaffee48
groups of blades. Where the blade
groups are attached to rigid drum-
Further, in practice each manufac- achieve stability if necessary.42 type rotors, finite element models
tured and assembled blade has a Mechanical damping, primarily a and a plot of the Campbell diagram
slightly different natural frequency, result of mechanical friction, are sufficient to detect potential con-
which complicates the analysis for a decreases with increasing amplitude ditions of resonance. However, in
row of blades, but does reduce the and should not be relied upon those turbines with more flexible
aerodynamic coupling between unless specifically confirmed in discs, there may be structural inter-
blades and therefore makes the row rotating tests under worst case action between the blades and the
less unstable than if all blades were operating conditions.42 Monitoring discs which is not easily detected
perfectly matched. In fact, it is pos- of all blades in a suspect row is using only the Campbell diagram.23
sible to stabilize an aerodynamically necessary and tests should be run The dominant shapes of the defor-
unstable row by deliberately mistun- under worst case flow conditions. mation of the disc tend to be sinu-
ing if the average self-damping of a In situ blade vibration can also be soidal waves around the circumfer-
single fixed blade is positive, but not measured by non-contacting meth- ence of the disc, although a variety
if it is negative.42 The variation in ods using strain gage, telemetry, of other shapes are possible.
individual blade natural frequencies electromagnetic, eddy current, or Figure 5-13 illustrates these domi-
also explains why, in a potentially optical devices. Use of such meth- nant sinusoidal shapes. The one
unstable row, some blades fail while ods are the preferred means of nodal diameter figure shows the
others do not: adjacent blades measurement of non-synchronous simplest of these modes. In this
which are not aerodynamically cou- vibration. Chapter 10 contains mode there are two zero points or
pled will vibrate independently of additional information about blade nodes (indicated by the solid points
one another. vibration monitoring. on the circle) and a displacement
The implication to blade design is Vibration stresses can also arise around the disc equal to one sine
that blade rows should be aerody- from variation in the geometry of the wave. That displacement reaches a
namically stable with the use of steam inlet passages in the station- maximum positive displacement on
deliberate mistuning (or mixing) of ary blades.8 There is no practical the right side of the drawing and a
actual blade natural frequencies to way to tune the blade against these minimum displacement 180° around
per-rev very high harmonics. The the disc from that point.

5-16 Turbine Blading Design II

The interference diagram has been Table 5-3
developed to calculate the effect of Steam Path Exciting Forces in the LP Turbine
nodal disc vibrations on blade vibra-
Harmonic Typical Sources
tions. The interference diagram
plots the disc-blade modal shapes
One per rev Displacement (such as bending) of a blade.
(using nodal diameters) against
frequency. An example of the inter-
Two per rev. Diaphragm joints.
ference diagram is shown in Figure
5-14 for an analysis of a six blade
Multiple per rev. Structural supports in flow path.
group. The basic premise of the
interference diagram is that reso-
Medium/rev. • Diaphragm harmonics.
nance cannot occur unless the
• Aeroelastic disturbances.
nodal diameter of the mode in ques-
• Nozzle turbulence harmonics
tion coincides with the per-rev exci-
tation, i.e., four per-rev interfering
High/rev. • Upstream wake degeneration.
with the fourth nodal diameter. The
• Structural turbulence.
nodal diameter concept is used to
describe the mode shapes in terms Source: W. Sanders16
of the number of nodes (locations of
zero motion) that are observed in a
given mode. Thus, Figure 5-14
shows the relationship between the
blade group natural frequency, the
blade-disc mode shape (expressed
in terms of nodal diameters), and
per-rev excitation. The closed
symbols represent single modes. Zero Nodal Diameter Four Nodal Diameter
The data used on the interference
diagram are from a finite element
A constant speed line (1800 rpm in
Figure 5-14) is drawn on the interfer-
ence diagram. Wherever the speed
line crosses a set of nodal diameter One Nodal Diameter Five Nodal Diameter
modes, a resonant condition is pos-
sible.51 In this example, the speed
line passes near the fourth nodal
diameter of the first tangential mode
set, indicating a possible resonance.
The advantage of the interference
diagram over the Campbell diagram Two Nodal Diameter Six Nodal Diameter
is that the latter would not have
identified this potential resonance
since it does not include the disc
modal effects.
Examples of both Campbell and
interference diagrams and their
Three Nodal Diameter Seven Nodal Diameter
interpretation can be found in some
of the case studies of Chapter 20. A
tool has been developed to extend
the Campbell diagram into three Figure 5-13. Sample results from a modal test of a blade-disc structure that show
dimensions, it is termed the SAFE the distribution of node points around the disc circumference, identifying the diametral
lines and characterizing the disc mode shapes. Source: T. Lam, R. Dewey, and A.
diagram (Singh’s Advanced Sarlashkar23
Frequency Evaluation).52

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 5-17

5.4 Aerodynamic Analysis and
Frequency, Hz Flow Analysis of Blades
Aerodynamic and flow analysis has
Tangential modes always been important in the design
360 and analysis of turbines. However,
Axial modes
recent developments in computa-
320 tional fluid dynamic (CFD) programs
have allowed significantly better
analysis than was available even in
280 the recent past. Such tools were not
1800 rpm
available to the turbine manufactur-
240 ers when most units were originally
200 Turbine heat rate and output
improvements of 2-6% have been
reportedly achieved in turbines from
several manufacturers as a result of
optimizing the aerodynamics of the
120 original turbine flow paths.53-57
Complex three dimensional CFD
80 programs have been increasingly
used to evaluate the redesign of tur-
bine components such as exhaust
40 hoods and/or blading modifications,
and have been used to assess the
0 potential payback for such changes.
0 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 In a number of cases, the need to
Nodal Diameter replace worn or eroded airfoils and
the nature of the replacement has
Figure 5-14. Interference diagram for the analysis of a six blade been established by the use of three
group. Source: W. Burton and R. Ortolano51 dimensional CFD studies.58
Prior to the early 1990s flow analysis
was performed primarily with
Rotating blade Rotating blade axisymmetric flow field computer
programs (one dimensional and later
two dimensional models). However,
Stationary blade Stationary blade in the final stages of the LP turbine
flow is undergoing a phase change
because of the expanding steam
and is significantly three dimen-
sional, Figure 5-15. Further, this
non-equilibrium phase change pro-
duces vapor subcooling, which can
locally alter the velocity triangles in
the critical area near the leading
edges of fixed and rotating blades.
Flow Flow

a) Traditional Design b) Three Dimensional Design

Figure 5-15. Last stage flow is highly three dimensional. New blade designs (see
Figure 5-16) that incorporate lean and sweep are being designed by using computa-
tional fluid dynamics programs. Such programs can determine the shape of stream-
lines and allow for optimizing blade profiles. Source: A.P. Weiss60

5-18 Turbine Blading Design II

Earlier programs could not take into the concave and convex sides of
account these radial flows because the blade and produce optimized
of the lack of computational tools. passage profiles that can reduce
The state of the art for analysis of shock induced losses. An example
flows is that three dimensional flows of such a blade in commercial pro-
within blade rows can be calculated duction is shown in Figure 5-16.
and two dimensional calculations of It is ironic that despite the recent
condensing flows can be calcu- advances in three dimensional aero-
lated. The next step is three dimen- dynamic analysis design, that the
sional condensing flows59 and to last LP stage remains the least ther-
combine the effects of vapor sub- modynamically efficient row in the
cooling, shock wave development, steam path, even though it has the
spontaneous condensation and largest available energy.58 This
three dimensional flow on overall should be a challenge to future
stage losses.58 design engineers.
The results of three dimensional
CFD are used to improve blade
designs that optimize the shape of

Figure 5-16. Example of an advanced

stationary blade designed by consider-
ing the three dimensional nature of the
expanding flow. Source: A.P. Weiss60

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Proceedings of the American Power Conference, Antonio, TX, Plant Support Engineering, EPRI, Charlotte,
Chicago, IL, April, 1976, pp. 570-580. NC, 1997.
51. Burton, W. and R. Ortolano, Field Telemetry Testing 59. Jonas, O. and N.F. Rieger, Turbine Steam,
of Long-Arc, Low-Pressure Turbine Blading, Final Report Chemistry, and Corrosion, Final Report TR-103738, EPRI,
TR-100216, Research Project 1856-3, Electric Power Palo Alto, CA, August, 1994.
Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, January, 1992.
60. Weiss, A.P., “Aerodynamic Design of Advanced LP
52. Singh, M.P., J.J. Vargo, D.M. Schiffer, and J.D. Dello, Steam Path”, ABB Review, May, 1998.
“SAFE Diagram - A Design and Reliability Tool for
Turbine Blading”, Proceedings of the 17th
Turbomachinery Symposium, held in Dallas, TX,
November 8-10, 1988, pp. 93-101.

5-22 Turbine Blading Design II

Chapter 6 • Volume 1

Life Assessment

6.1 Introduction fication of the damage cause is the

This chapter provides an overview of first major step toward prescribing
life assessment technologies. The an effective solution, it is often a
intent is to introduce some basic secondary objective in the period
considerations that are applicable to immediately after the damage is
the evaluation of the variety of dam- found to getting the unit running.
age mechanisms in Volume 2: stress Typically some interim measure such
analysis (Section 6.3), fatigue analy- as re-blading with available replace-
sis (Section 6.4), fracture mechanics ments or removal of a damaged row
analysis (Section 6.5), creep and is implemented. However, if the
creep-fatigue (Sections 6.7 and 6.8). underlying cause is not corrected,
Section 6.6 discusses some of the the damage will typically reoccur.
differences between deterministic Approximately 50% of blade failures
and probabilistic methods as will re-occur when identical replace-
applied to fatigue and fracture ments are used without corrective
mechanics analyses. engineering analysis.1
The chapter begins with a generic A further trap that should be assidu-
procedure for the assessment of ously avoided is assuming that if a
blades which illustrates how the vari- blade lasted a set number of years
ous analysis types (stress analysis, that a simple, direct replacement will
fatigue, and fracture mechanics) are realize the same life. This is particu-
combined. larly important to remember where
there have been obvious changes in
the operation of the unit (for exam-
6.2 A Generic Procedure for ple recent changes to cycling from
Blade and Blade Attachment Life base load, recent changes in the
Assessment quality of the water chemistry, etc.).
Blade analysis is performed for a A direct replacement for a blade that
variety of reasons: (i) determining had experienced 19 years of base
the root cause of damage, (ii) com- loaded life and one year of cycling
paring alternative fixes to a problem, life may result in only one additional
and (iii) estimating future reliability year of life, not 20.
by determining life. Although identi-

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 6-1

A generic procedure for assessment
of blade life when subjected to
Step 1
fatigue, corrosion fatigue or stress Compile inspection,
corrosion cracking is shown in metallurgical and unit data
Figure 6-1. For these damage
types, blading life analysis will typi-
cally include: (i) finite element mod- Step 2
Preliminary identification of
eling, (ii) calculating natural frequen-
failure mechanism
cies and stresses, and (iii) a means
of determining life, such as fatigue
analysis or fracture mechanics. Step 3
Note that this procedure is not Evaluate industry-wide
required for a wide variety of other data
damage mechanisms, such as fret-
ting, solid particle erosion, copper Step 4 Execute repair/replace
Is detailed analysis No
deposition, liquid droplet erosion, strategy
and water induction. See the indi- required?
vidual chapters of Volume 2 pertain- Yes
ing to these mechanisms for details
of how they are individually Step 7
assessed. Also note that in blading, Define geometry
an initiated crack essentially signals
end of life and therefore fracture
mechanics is not typically utilized, Step 6 Step 8
however, for the disc rim attachment Review design Generate finite
area, a significant portion of life can information element model
occur in the propagation stage of
flaw growth and thus the use of
Step 9 Step 10 Step 12
fracture mechanics is indicated.
Calculate steady Calculate natural Calculate dynamic
Even if fatigue, stress corrosion state stresses frequencies and stresses
cracking or corrosion fatigue are mode shapes
confirmed, there may be some
situations in which it is appropriate Step 11
to forego stress, fatigue and fracture Confirm with modal
analysis (Step 4 on Figure 6-1). test, if possible
Such situations would have all of the
following characteristics: (i) the fail- Step 5 Step 13
ure is isolated to a single blade or Define material Estimate time to
only a few blades, (ii) the root cause properties failure using fatigue
can be clearly identified, (iii) the fix and fracture
mechanics analyses
is straightforward (such as a simple
replacement or weld repair), and (iv)
it is clear the fix will achieve the Step 4
Iterate evaluation of
operator’s goals for blade life or will
proposed solutions
clearly allow operation until the next
scheduled outage. Such a set of
circumstances might occur for ex-
ample where there was an isolated Figure 6-1. Generic flowchart for blade assessment.
blade manufacturing defect, or if a
foreign object was left in the turbine underlying root cause, and to con- generic procedure, the reader
during a maintenance outage and firm that the solution addresses should pick the appropriate steps
caused impact damage to blades. that cause. depending on the nature and extent
In the vast majority of cases how- of the damage to customize the
The following sections describe the
ever, the steps illustrated in Figure requirements pertinent to the spe-
step-by-step blade assessment out-
6-1 will be required to identify the cific situation.
lined in Figure 6-1. As it describes a

6-2 Life Assessment Methods

6.2.1 Compile inspection data, met- Table 6-1
allurgical results and unit data (Step Metallurgical Aspects of a Failure Examination
1, Figure 6-1). Where the damage
Technique Requirements
is occurring can be valuable in
determining which specific modes of
Optical Microscopy • Sketches noting extent, color area and texture of corrosion
vibration are inducing damage.
Inspection results should include
• Description of corrosion, form and extent, e.g., general attack
answers to such questions as:
or mild pitting.
• What is the general nature of the • Crack locations, number and distribution.
damage (rubbing, fretting, crack-
ing, deformation, over tempera- Metallography • Record/sketch orientation and location of samples.
ture operation)? • Photomicrographs of unetched and etched sample.
• What are the locations of dam- • Record microstructure and nature of cracks.
Scanning electron microscopy • Determine crack morphology, i.e., intergranular or transgranular,
• Which rows are affected? straight/branched, etc.
• Where in the row is the damage? • Photo-fractographs of fracture surfaces to document failure
• Are groups of blades affected? • Analysis of fracture surface deposits by in-situ energy
Which blades in the group are dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.
damaged (only leading blades,
only trailing blades, both leading Chemical analysis on • Compare material composition to specifications.
and trailing blades, all blades representative material • Record levels of impurities in deposits or scales.
equally, etc.) removed from component
• Where on the damaged blades is
the damage occurring? Adapted from: J.D Parker, et al.2

• What can be learned from the

geometry of the blade and history of the unit may include such mechanism confirmation can be
attachments near the damage? information as: (i) unit load/speed obtained from the actions outlined in
Are there measurable gaps cycling (a key determinant of low the second half of each chapter of
between the blade root and disc cycle fatigue), (ii) load changes Volume 2.
rim attachment? Are tiewire, (which can help account for thermal
6.2.3 Evaluate available information
tiewire hole, tenon or shroud fatigue), (iii) number of over-
on similar damage from unit, sister
tolerances or geometries impli- speeds/governor trips that have
unit or industry experience (Step 3,
cated in the failure? occurred, (iv) period of time that
Figure 6-1). In some cases, it may
blades were at overspeed condi-
A damage report, similar to that be possible to gain considerable
tions, and (v) conditions that may
described in Chapter 12 should be insight about the problem and likely
have lead to sub-synchronous or
completed and the information fixes from past failures. An evalua-
supersynchronous operation.
about each outbreak of damage tion of past unit records along with
stored in a central database for use The period over which the damage available information from similar
in future analyses. NDE methods for has occurred will be an important units may help in this regard.
inspecting turbine blades are dis- clue and help identify for example
6.2.4 Determine whether a detailed
cussed in Chapter 11. whether a source of stress consistent
analysis is required (Step 4, Figure
with low cycle fatigue or high cycle
Information from metallurgical exam- 6-1). If fatigue, stress corrosion
fatigue is appropriate, or whether the
inations should be gathered. Table cracking or corrosion fatigue are
damage has been longer term, such
6-1 provides a list of typical informa- suspected or confirmed, then it is
as the result of creep.
tion that should be obtained. likely that a detailed analysis is
Significantly more detail about met- 6.2.2 Preliminary identification of required. Only very special cir-
allurgical examinations is provided the damage mechanism (Step 2, cumstances, outlined at the begin-
in Chapter 9. Figure 6-1). From the inspection ning of Section 6.2, would change
and metallurgical data it should be this decision.
Unit information will also be
required, including load history and possible to identify the general fail-
chemical history of steam. The load ure mechanism. Guidance on

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 6-3

6.2.5 Define the material properties 6.2.9 Calculate steady state and modal shapes can be docu-
(Step 5, Figure 6-1). These may stresses (Step 9, Figure 6-1). This mented at zero rpm and compared
come from historical records, or should include an analysis of such with the finite element results at zero
open literature values, preferably stresses as centrifugal stress, steam speed. If they compare well it is
with confirmation of critical proper- bending, and any steady state ther- reasonable to assume that the
ties by testing. One of the difficul- mal stresses. This analysis should dynamic behavior of the blade is
ties in any detailed assessment is identify locations of maximum stress also well represented.
dealing with the scatter in material and their distribution throughout the
6.2.12 Calculate the dynamic
properties that will occur in any real blade. The effect of stress concen-
stresses in response to unsteady
situation. Judgment will be required trations such as at the root attach-
forces using an appropriate forcing
to balance the amount of data col- ment and in tiewires or shrouding
function (Step 12, Figure 6-1).
lected against the cost to do so. should be included in this analysis.
These might include such sources
Material properties of interest will Three dimensional analysis is typi-
as partial arc admission, nozzle-
depend on the damage type being cally required to identify potential
wake interactions, flutter or other
evaluated but will typically include high stress areas; a two dimensional
unsteady forces such as described
(i) strength, (ii) fatigue crack growth analysis may be sufficient to focus
in detail in Chapter 5.
rate, (iii) SCC and corrosion fatigue on key locations for more detailed
crack growth rates (preferably in evaluation. 6.2.13 Estimate time to failure
environments reflecting that seen by using fatigue and fracture mechanics
6.2.10 Calculate natural frequencies
the damaged blades), (iv) fracture analysis (Step 13, Figure 6-1).
and mode shapes (Step 10, Figure
toughness (for discs), and (v) mater- A typical fatigue analysis will use a
6-1). Plot a Campbell diagram or
ial hardness. interference diagram to illustrate the local strain approach that allows for
6.2.6 Gather and evaluate design relationship of mode frequencies to the cumulative effect of multiple
information (Step 6, Figure 6-1). rotor speed. Suspect a resonance strain sources such as modal reso-
This includes answering such problem if blade frequencies are nance and mean strains from cen-
questions as: Is a Campbell diagram close to per-revolution harmonics. trifugal loading. Input to the fatigue
available? Are there obvious blade Plot the modal shapes. This work analysis will include the blade
modes which are more likely to can be done experimentally by material properties, unit history
have had resonance with per-rev using strain gages to measure reso- (start/stops) and operating tempera-
excitation? nances, or analytically. In the latter ture. Steady stress amplitude,
case, some finite element analysis dynamic frequency and stress
6.2.7 Define the geometry of the packages (such as the BLADE-ST amplitude determined from prior
blade, attachments, and damage code8,11,12) provide automatic plot- calculations are also used in the
(Step 7, Figure 6-1). Dimensions ting of Campbell diagrams. Chapter fatigue analysis. The effect of envi-
should be specified from field 5 discusses vibration analysis, ronment should also be included.
measurements. Campbell plots, and interference Fracture mechanics will be used to
6.2.8 Generate a finite element diagrams in more detail. Typical determine lifetime after the formation
model of the blade (Step 8, Figure examples of field application to the of a crack in the disc rim attachment
6-1). This step will model key diagnosis of damage are given in area. Also note that a considerable
geometries such as actual dimen- the case studies of Chapter 20. amount of work has been conducted
sions of all relevant stress concen- modeling pit initiation and propaga-
Changes in blade frequencies
trations, nature of blade groups tion for corrosion fatigue.3
caused by corrosion, erosion, or
(free standing or grouped, integral deposit buildup may need to be 6.2.14 Iterate the analysis to
or riveted covers, tiewires, etc.) and included in the analysis. Further, evaluate alternative solutions (Step
detail of attachments. If damage effects that occur at operating 14, Figure 6-1). Options need to be
appears to be a disc-blade interac- speed but do not show up in a compared to demonstrate that supe-
tion, the investigator will need to static model of the blade, such as rior performance in fatigue, SCC or
expand the model to include the stress stiffening (causing running corrosion fatigue can be expected.
disc; entire rotor modeling may speed blade frequencies to be This step is critical if geometry or
also need to be included if rotor higher than would be measured at material changes are being sug-
torsional modes are suspected to zero rpm) or spin softening may gested such as the introduction of
be an underlying root cause of the also need to be included. longer (or shorter) shrouding,
6.2.11 Confirm with modal test changing to or from free standing
where possible or necessary (Step blades, or changing root attachment
11, Figure 6-1). Blade frequencies geometry. Where operating prac-

6-4 Life Assessment Methods

tices or cycle chemistry can be Table 6-2
modified to reduce the rate of dam- Sources of Uncertainties in Blading Analysis
age accumulation, these effects
should also be quantified.
• Although steady loads are well defined, deterministic dynamic loads are typically poorly
6.2.15 Uncertainties in the stress defined and only a fair definition of stochastic loads is possible.
and fatigue analyses. Unfortunately • Poorly defined contact stresses (attachment tenon, tiewires, etc.).
there are a number of uncertainties
or shortcomings no matter which Geometry
particular analysis method is em- • Well defined Kt values for stresses.
ployed. Some of these are identified • Poorly defined kf as kf is a function of both Kt and notch geometry.
in Table 6-2.
Given the various uncertainties in Material
material properties, excitation, • Strength and dynamic properties must be statistically defined.
damping, and cumulative damage • Batch properties subject to variation in heat treatment.
estimates, blade life estimates are • It is difficult to accurately define damping coefficients as function of rotor speed, amplitude
typically only within a factor of 3-4 and blade material
of measured life values.6 For this • There is a large scatter in fatigue properties under a variety of operating environments.
reason, the BLADE-ST code and
similar calculations are typically Load history
used primarily for relative indicators • Not well known. Past operating conditions may be unavailable and future operating
of performance, not for absolute conditions undefined.
predictions of life. Estimates of
the accuracy of various fatigue Problems with calculations and algorithms
parameters described are shown • Miner’s law summation influenced by loading sequence.
in Table 6-3. • Rainflow (range pair) cycle counting appears reliable.
• Residual stresses can introduce complications.
6.2.16 Case studies showing the • HCF life influenced by environment, notably corrosion.
application of blade assessment. • Details of corrosive event history may not be available.
Case studies illustrating the assess- • Specifics of erosion damage, which will influence fatigue and environmentally-assisted
ment of field failures can be found in fatigue life may not be available.
Chapters 20 (Fatigue), 24 (Corrosion
Fatigue), and 25 (SCC in Disc Rim Sources include: N.F. Rieger4 and J.S. Rao5
stresses (see Chapter 5 for a more Table 6-3
6.3 Stress Analysis detailed discussion of these individ- Estimates of Accuracy to Which Various
ual stress components and how Fatigue Parameters are Known
6.3.1 Basic principles. Stress
they arise):
analysis methods are often required Parameter Estimate of Accuracy
to evaluate or confirm the root cause σmo = σco + σbo (6-2)
of such damage mechanisms as Steady stress 1.01 - 1.05
fatigue, stress corrosion cracking where
Damping log. dec. 1.10 - 1.50
and corrosion fatigue. The total σmo = nominal (no effect of stress
stress, σt at any location is the com- concentration) mean stress Excitation 1.30 - 1.70
bination of the steady mean stress, σco = nominal centrifugal stress
σm , and dynamic, or alternating Dynamic magnifier 1.02 - 1.05
σbo = nominal bending stress
stress, σa . During operation where
Assembly tolerance 1.05 - 1.25
a single harmonic response domi- Mean stresses remain constant in
nates, the total stress is given by: a given location in any blade part Strain life 1.05 - 1.15
σt = σm + σa cos ω t (airfoil, root, cover, tenon, etc.) at a
(6-1) Miners law sum 1.10 - 1.15
specified speed and power output.
where ω is the circular frequency of Alternating stresses can arise from Load history 1.00 - 1.50
the predominant alternating stress. a number of causes (see Chapter 5
Life estimate variation 1.80 - 9.00
for more detail). Such resonant
The steady state mean stresses
stresses are related to the stimulus Source: N.F. Rieger and T.H. McCloskey 6
are a combination of the centrifugal (S), damping (δ), and a resonance
and steady state steam bending

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 6-5

response factor, FR by the
σao = (π/δ )FR S σbo (6-3)
σao = nominal alternating stress Gerber parabola

Practical combinations of blade

damping, stimulus, and dynamic σa Goodman line
response factor can lead to alternat-
ing stresses that equal or exceed
the nominal mean bending stress at
the section.7
Soderberg line
6.3.2 Finite element analysis.
The most common method used for
calculating the complex patterns of
Sy Su
stress in steam path components is
the use of the finite element method.
Application of specific finite element
programs begins with modeling the Figure 6-2. Fatigue life predictions can be made by plotting locations of mean ( σm ),
geometry of interest. They then and alternating stress ( σa ), and comparing to failure “lines”. On this figure the
allow calculation of natural frequen- Goodman and Soderberg lines are shown, along with a failure parabola by Gerber.
cies, steady and dynamic stresses, Plotted points of σm and σa that fall above and to the right of the appropriate “line” indi-
and thermal stresses given input of cate conditions that will lead to failure by fatigue.
loading conditions. These stress
components, along with high- and 6.4 Fatigue Analysis dition for a given condition is plotted
low cycle fatigue properties of the Methods for predicting fatigue life- on a graph on which the magnitude
material, are used to predict the time times of structural members are well of the mean stress is plotted on the
to fatigue crack initiation by a documented.14 Two of the most abscissa and alternating stress level
fatigue cycle counting algorithm common techniques are the use of is plotted on the ordinate. Three
such as the local strain approach the Goodman diagram or a variant points are known. If the load is sta-
(described in the following section). (Figure 6-2), and elastic-plastic tic, that is σa = 0 , a mean stress
General purpose finite element (local strain) analysis. Although tra- equal to yield, Sy , will initiate yield-
codes, such as ANSYS™ or special- ditionally most component analyses ing and a mean stress equal to the
ized codes such as BLADE-ST™ have been performed using these ultimate strength of the material, S u ,
(Blade Life Algorithm for Dynamic deterministic methods, there are will cause failure (fracture). On the
Evaluation – Steam Turbine)8,9 can some valid reasons to move toward ordinate, if the mean stress is zero,
be used for the analysis of blades. probabilistic analysis of fatigue con- then failure occurs at the endurance
The latter contains preset geome- ditions. Fatigue analysis can include limit, Se , which is found from
tries, blade material properties, or the calculation of both initiation time laboratory testing.
damping and excitation functions. and propagation of a crack. In con- The Goodman diagram is a straight
When identical models are devel- trast, fracture mechanics methodolo- line connecting Su and Se. Failure in
oped, however, the results obtained gies, described in the next section, fatigue will occur whenever the com-
for natural frequencies and stresses assume the existence of a crack and bination of mean and alternating
are the same between ANSYS and calculate the lifetime for that crack to stresses calculated for a particular
BLADE.10 Examples of how finite grow to a critical size. condition is above the Goodman
element analysis can be applied to line. Stress amplitudes for notched
find the root cause of blade failures 6.4.1 Goodman diagram and members are estimated from those
and confirm the solutions taken can modified Goodman diagram. The for unnotched members by invoking
be found in the case studies of Goodman diagram, proposed by J.
a fatigue strength reduction factor,
Chapter 20 on Fatigue or in the Goodman of London in 1899 (see,
k f . Likewise a stress concentration
open literature.6-8,11-13 for example reference 15), is used to
factor for the mean stress, k fm , is
represent the effect of mean and
also estimated.
cyclic stress levels. The stress con-

6-6 Life Assessment Methods

As indicated in Figure 6-2, there The parameters, σƒ’, E, b, εƒ’, and c tainties in key variables such as
have been a number of non-linear are material properties which can material properties, stress concen-
theories which attempt to overcome be obtained from handbooks of trations (for example, root radii and
the conservatism in the linear such properties.17 This leaves the gaps) and loads. The use of proba-
Goodman theory. The most widely total strain and corresponding num- bilistic methods can remove overly
used is probably the Gerber para- ber of cycles (strain reversals) as conservative assumptions, or at
bolic relation, proposed by W. unknowns. Given a strain such as least provide an indication of the
Gerber of Germany in 1874. the result of a finite element analysis true safety factor implied in worst
in a failure analysis, the number of case analysis of blades. A detailed
The Goodman diagram can in prin-
cycles to failure can be calculated. case study of the application of
cipal be used to evaluate the com-
Conversely, in a design situation, probabilistic methods to analysis of
bined effects of steady and dynamic
limitations on the allowable total fatigue failures can be found in the
stress. However, given the com-
strain can be placed on a blading case studies of Chapter 20.
plexity of load variations typical of
design for a desired lifetime (num-
turbine blading, an analysis of cyclic
ber of cycles). As an indication of 6.5 Fracture Mechanics Analysis
stress-strain and a damage summa-
the typical values for each variable, Failure can be predicted for struc-
tion method is more widely employ-
for Type 403 stainless steel at 335°C tures containing cracks through the
ed for fatigue analysis of blades.
(635°F): E=28,000 ksi, σƒ’=131 ksi, use of fracture mechanics. Fracture
6.4.2 Elastic-plastic (local strain) b=-0.083, εƒ’=0.381, and c=-0.58.18 mechanics assumes that there is
analysis. As noted above, it is tra- no initiation, i.e., the analysis begins
From the cyclic strain-life relation-
ditional to separate the total fatigue with the assumption of a sharp
ship measured in the high strain
life of a notched member into a crack in the part and determines
(low cycle fatigue regime) for 12Cr
crack initiation life, which is spent in the time for that crack to grow to a
blading material, the number of
developing small cracks, and a critical size.
cycles to failure can be calculated,
crack propagation life, which is
given a knowledge of cyclic strains In fracture mechanics analyses, a
spent in growing cracks to failure.
either measured or calculated by stress intensity is calculated that
During the initiation stage the dam-
finite element methods, or the dam- specifies the stress state at the tip
age process is controlled by the
age per cycle can be calculated of a crack. In general, the stress
cyclic plastic strain at the notch
from the reciprocal of the number of intensity is a function of the applied
root. Nominal stress, reflected in
cycles to failure. To calculate the and residual stress fields, the exist-
the stress intensity factor, K, controls
time to failure for a spectrum of ing crack size and a factor that
the growth of cracks during the later
loads more typical of the dynamic accounts for crack and specimen
stages. The local strain approach
and vibratory loads that blades are geometry:
analyzes plasticity and mean stress
subjected to, it is necessary to add
effects in a rational and fairly rigor- K = A σ a1/2
ous manner, thereby avoiding most the incremental damage per cycle.
In the case of the BLADE-ST code, where:
of the empiricism of the nominal
for example, this is done with a K = stress intensity
stress methods such as the
modified Miner’s rule19: A1 = crack and specimen geometry
Goodman diagram.
Total damage per a given group of factor
Strain-life relations were shown by σ = stress
Manson and Hirschberg16 to be the n
sum of the elastic and plastic strain
blades = ∑ Ni (6-5) a = crack size
i=1 i
where: For cyclic stresses, the same equa-
εt = (σf’/E ) (2Nƒ)b + εƒ’ (2Nƒ)c tion is applicable and provides the
Ni = number of cycles to failure for
cyclic stress intensity factor, ∆K.
(6-4) cycle i
ni = number of applied stress-strain Crack growth can be expressed as
where: loops of this amplitude a Paris relationship, as a function of
εt = total strain M = number of stress-strain loops applied stress intensity:
σf’ = fatigue strength coefficient of various amplitudes within the
load block da = C (∆K )n (6-7)
E = Young’s modulus
2Nƒ = number of complete strain
reversals to failure 6.4.3 Probabilistic methods for where C, n are empirical constants.
b = fatigue strength exponent fatigue analyses. The use of proba- Growth rates used are found from
εƒ’ = fatigue ductility coefficient bilistic methods for fatigue analysis laboratory test data.
c = fatigue ductility exponent is logical given the range of uncer-

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 6-7

For the analysis of damage accumu- Electricity Generating Board provide bilistic condition assessment are
lation by fatigue, cracks are methods to analyze structures con- identical to those used in a deter-
assumed to begin to grow when the taining flaws. ministic analysis; the difference is
stress intensity reaches a threshold that input parameters can be ran-
value, ∆KTH ; below this threshold domly chosen according to their sta-
6.6 Deterministic and
crack growth is no longer observed. tistical distribution. The Monte Carlo
Probabilistic Methods
Crack growth rates are typically simulation technique is commonly
Unfortunately, there are a number of
determined in laboratory tests, then applied. It allows using multiple
uncertainties present in fracture
used to predict service performance variables with widely different statis-
mechanics analyses. Some of these
for various geometries. Note that tical distributions. Probabilistic cal-
factors include:
the rate at which the crack will grow culations have become more wide-
is directly proportional to the applied • Knowledge of actual operating spread as computational power has
stress and to the square root of the stresses in the component. expanded. Some care should be
crack size. taken when applying Monte Carlo
• Knowledge of the local chemical
Failure by rapid fracture is taken to environment.
occur at a critical stress intensity • The result of a Monte Carlo simu-
• Uncertainty in defect size due to
value, the fracture toughness, KIC . lation is a statistical variable.
limits on sensitivity of the NDE
Using fracture mechanics analyses, Several Monte Carlo runs using
methods, sampling scheme cho-
combinations of total stress state the same input distributions
sen or limits on the accessibility
and flaw size that lead to failure can of the location. should be performed, particularly
be calculated. if the number of failures predicted
• Simplifications introduced by the is small, to ensure that result is
For damage that accumulates by analysis methods themselves, reliable. It has been recom-
stress corrosion cracking, cracks such as assumptions about resid- mended that the number of Monte
are assumed to grow when the ual stress magnitude and distribu- Carlo simulations be in the range
stress intensity reaches a similar tion, and of flaw shape. of 100 to 1000 divided by the
threshold value, termed KISCC ,
• Actual material properties includ- expected or allowed probability.23
below which crack growth rates are
unmeasurably small. The value of ing fracture toughness, strength, • The quality of a probabilistic
KISCC is environment dependent. It and the appropriate crack growth analysis depends on the availabil-
should be noted that there are those rate (including consideration of ity of a “sufficiently large” number
who believe that there is no true the material/ environment combi- of relevant samples. In most
“threshold” below which incremental nation). Even if there is informa- engineering situations, there are a
crack growth does not occur, only tion about the original material limited number of data points
that the value is small. It has been properties, they may have available, which can lead to esti-
said the detection and specification changed over time. mates or engineering judgment to
of KISCC in the laboratory is depen- These uncertainties have lead to the determine the appropriate distrib-
dent upon the patience of the inves- use of probabilistic methods of frac- utions of parameters, and thus to
tigator. Suffice it to say for practical ture mechanics and the use of tech- uncertainties in the results.
engineering considerations, such niques such as Monte Carlo simula- • Care must be taken to determine
low growth rates that might occur tion that can take the appropriate which, if any, of the input parame-
below established threshold values ranges of variables and calculate ters have the most effect on the
would imply very long component probabilities of failure. An example outcome. In many situations, one
lives and therefore the issue is of a probabilistic analysis of low or a few input parameters have a
somewhat moot. cycle fatigue is given in the case large influence on the output of
There are several commercially studies of Chapter 20. the Monte Carlo model. An input
available fracture mechanics codes Table 6-4 highlights some of the dis- verification and sensitivity study is
which can be used to evaluate the tinctions between probabilistic and recommended to characterize
accumulation of damage by the deterministic models/methods. The where attention should be paid to
“crack-like” mechanisms – fatigue, use of probabilistic methods reflects the modeling.
stress corrosion cracking, and corro- the reality that most physical para- • The role of deterministic analysis
sion fatigue. International standards meters have a range of values and should not be overlooked and it
such as the R6 procedure20,21 that there is an underlying uncer- should be combined with proba-
developed by the former Central tainty in their measurement. The bilistic analysis where possible.
equations which govern a proba-

6-8 Life Assessment Methods

Table 6-4 For CrMoV rotor steels as for a vari-
Comparison of Probabilistic and Deterministic Methods ety of other alloys, there is a simple
relationship between minimum creep
Probabilistic Methods/Models Deterministic Methods/Models •
rate, ε , and time to rupture, tr ,
Model of a blade population Model of a specific case of blade design termed the Monkman-Grant correla-
Stochastic model for uncertainty Scientific model with simplified assumptions tion27:

Study phenomena with statistical regularities Investigate worst case scenario εtr = constant (6-8)
Based on distribution of test data Based on lower bound experimental data
Estimates of rupture life can be
Estimate the chance of failure Determine the cause of failure obtained using the equation in com-
Source: T. Lam 22 ponents removed from service given
creep rate from dimensional mea-
surements, or from short term labo-
Alternatively, the use of simple will often be replacement, thus pre- ratory tests (“isostress” tests) to give
probabilistic calculations should cluding the need for extensive estimates of rupture life. Extrapola-
be used where possible.23 analysis of creep life. These issues tion to determine the probable time
are discussed in more detail in to rupture at service temperatures is
Chapter 16. then typically performed. Because
6.7 Creep and Creep-Fatigue
Creep and creep-fatigue damage is it is difficult to remove samples of
In many respects, approaches to the
a significant problem at blade the necessary size from the disc rim
analysis of creep are analogous to
attachments in the disc rim (Chapter attachment region, these methods
those for fatigue. However, the rate
15). However, in practice, the pri- are typically limited to use in the
of accumulation of creep damage
mary strategy has been to repair the turbine outside the steam path
and its development into propagat-
affected area once significant dam- (such as at the rotor bore).
ing cracks in the field is not as well
understood. age is detected rather than subject There are several alternative para-
the area to extensive calculation of metric extrapolations that allow short
There are many complexities in remaining life. This is in part due to term creep test results to be extrapo-
involved in creep and creep-fatigue the difficulty in determining the lated to long exposure times typical
assessment, reference to overviews extent of damage in the disc rim of power plant applications. These
such as references24,25, or applica- area and inability to take samples include the Larson-Miller parameter,
ble international standards26 is use- that can be used for accelerated Orr-Sherby-Dorn parameter, Manson-
ful. For example, the Standard R526 rupture testing. Haferd parameter, Manson-Brown
provides extremely useful guidance
The following few sections briefly parameter, and the minimum com-
for high temperature defect-free and
review some of the basics of creep mitment method. The Larson-Miller
defect assessment. It has use for
inspection management, remaining and creep-fatigue analysis to serve parameter28 is the most commonly
as background to the discussions of used, is easy to understand and use,
life assessment and design assess-
Chapter 15 and 16 and to anticipate and has been proven to be at least
ment. The procedures focus on
future developments that will allow as accurate as, if not more accurate
cyclic plasticity and creep and are
more direct application of creep and than, any of the other parameters.24
therefore primarily applicable in the
turbine to rotors, in the steam path, creep-fatigue analysis to blading The Larson-Miller parameter, LMP,
and inlet locations in steam chests and/or the disc rim attachment area. can be derived from the stress and
and HP and IP inner casings. temperature dependence of the
6.7.1 General expressions for creep; creep rate or time to rupture. The
Traditionally, in blades, replacement creep rupture curves. The most resulting equation is:
as a result of another damage common accelerated test for creep
mechanism (such as solid particle is the creep-to-failure test in which LMP = ƒ(σ ) = T (log tr +C1) (6-9)
erosion) has meant that creep has engineering stress (load normalized
not been the life-limiting damage by initial specimen dimensions) is where
mechanism. As solid particle ero- plotted against the logarithm of time LMP = the Larson-Miller parameter
sion is better controlled, and blade to rupture, tr . The result is a series T = temperature in absolute units
operating lifetimes are extended, of curves similar to the S-N curve for tr = time to rupture, at temperature,
creep will become more widely rec- fatigue. For steady state conditions, hours
ognized in blades. Even then, when the stress rupture curves provide C1 = a constant that ranges from
creep damage has become promi- reliable design lifetimes. 10-40 depending on the
nent, the most economic response material

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 6-9

A plot of log tr versus 1/T results in
straight lines where the intercept is a
constant and whose slope is a func-
Remaining life, t, @ service temperature, Ts
tion of stress level. The Larson-
and service stress, σ*= 10
[p*/t– constant]
Miller parameter can also be used to
estimate remaining life at a given
service temperature and stress,
Figure 6-3. It is critical that the
appropriate material curve be used
for such evaluations.
Curve for material in a Virgin material

Log σ
6.7.2 Damage accumulation by given damaged state
creep. In field applications, creep
damage is a strong function of the
local stresses and temperatures. Service stress
Since significant variation will occur
in these factors because of steady
state operation, startup, shutdown
and other unit conditions, there will
be significant variation in the rate at
which creep damage accumulates.
For example, in some materials,
changes as small as 6-8°C (~10-
15°F) can double the creep rate of Service
Parameter = T [Constant + log t] Parameter
the material. As a result, damage
“rules” have been developed to cal-
culate the amount of life expended.
Figure 6-3. Schematic illustrating use of a parametric method to estimate remaining
The two most common rules sum
life at service temperature and stress.
time fractions (the Robinson life frac-
tion rule)29:
original formulation was for tempera- may predict that failure will never
∑ ti =1 (6-10) ture changes only. Damage occur.25 Refinements to both rela-
ri induced by variable temperature, tionships to more accurately model
but constant stress is uniquely real damage accumulation continue
where t i = the time spent under
related to life fraction. Temperature to be developed.
condition i , and tri = the time to rupture
changes do not result in sequence The analysis at the blade attachment
under condition i , effects, and therefore life expendi- region is also complicated by the
tures in each segment of time at need to consider triaxial stresses,
and strains, the strain fraction rule30: temperature are simply additive. In particularly for tangential entry blade
ε contrast, subsequent problems de-
∑ εiri =1 (6-11)
veloped with Robinson’s rule when it
attachments that are subjected to
high hoop stresses in addition to
was applied assuming that stress the plane strain stress field around
where εi = the strain accumulated under changes were uniquely related to life
condition i , an εri = the strain to rupture the notch.25
fraction; they are not.31
under condition i . 6.7.3 Creep cracking. The methods
Both Robinson’s rule and the discussed above, are analogous to
The Robinson life fraction rule is Monkman-Grant relationship have the analysis of fatigue crack initia-
analogous to the Palmgren-Miller been successfully applied to analyz- tion. There are also analogous
rule in fatigue analysis. As with ing power plant components.25 methods for creep that pertain to
fatigue, the Robinson rule assumes However, for the disc rim attachment crack growth (propagation).
that each fractional expenditure of region, the failures are by notch Remaining life assessment of crack-
life is independent of all others. It is creep rupture and both methods ing (in the creep regime as well as
frequently called, incorrectly, a linear have shortcomings. Robinson’s rule at lower temperatures) requires two
damage rule; there is no require- may predict very short lives relationship: (i) a means to relate the
ment for linearity, only for unique- because of its consideration of very crack driving force to nominal
ness of damage to life fraction. The high unrelaxed stresses early in life, stress, crack size, geometry and
and the Monkman-Grant relationship

6-10 Life Assessment Methods

material constants, and (ii) a way to The combination of creep and then an extrapolation is made to
correlate the calculated driving force fatigue damage mechanisms is com- determine remaining service life.
to the resultant crack growth rate for plicated and is far from understood. Full scale specimen creep rupture
the material of interest. A variety of As with simple fatigue, only inelastic testing is performed according to
expressions have been developed strains are damaging in the com- ASTM Standard E139-95.39 For
to indicate the effects at a crack tip bined creep and fatigue.31 The component assessment, however,
including the stress intensity factor, complexity arises in that the rate of subsized specimens (as small as
K, and the integral, J, along with damage accumulation is dependent 2.5 mm (0.1 in) in diameter, 10 mm
three parameters which are been on waveform and frequency of (0.4 in) gage length, and 40.6 mm
successfully correlated to creep cycling. There are at least four (1.6 in) overall length) have been
crack growth: C*, Ct 32 and C(t) 33. general approaches to estimating used with good success.40,41
creep-fatigue damage: (i) damage
Unfortunately, there is a lack of J Although reasonably accurate, there
summation, (ii) a frequency-modified
integral formulations in the strain are several problems with acceler-
Coffin-Manson relationship, (iii) strain
gradient of a notch.25 This requires ated rupture testing. The location
range partitioning method, and (iv)
an approximation of crack growth by for the sample must be chosen so
ductility exhaustion method.24
a sequence of growth intervals that it reflects the damage state and
under constant stress. The various damage rules for general microstructural characteris-
creep-fatigue have been compared tics that can predict the remaining
Example analyses have shown that
by many investigators and there is a life of the component. The destruc-
the majority of life is expended in
wide divergence of opinion about tive nature of the sampling process
crack growth in the disc rim attach-
which provides the most accurate means that repairs will be required,
ment region25, in contrast to the con-
dition in blades where the dominant life prediction. One consistent find- increasing the cost, and making it
life is that to initiation. ing is that even the most accurate is so that post service rupture testing
only useful to within a factor of 2 or 3 is not generally a feasible routine
6.7.4 Damage accumulation by on remaining life prediction. sampling scheme. There are also
creep-fatigue. Cyclic thermal stres- testing accuracy questions such as
sing under startup/shutdown cycles 6.8 Life Assessment for Creep the correlation of uniaxial tests to
can lead to initiation and propaga- Damage multi-axial conditions, effects of oxi-
tion of cracks by low cycle fatigue. There are several generic methods dation and effects of specimen size.
Under low frequency (<10 -3 Hz) that can be used for assessing Such tests are not currently used in
load cycling in air at 538-565°C remaining life of components which the disc rim attachment region
(1000-1050°F), creep-fatigue have experienced creep damage: because of the difficulty in taking
cracks in CrMoV steels propagate
along intergranular paths; at high 6.8.1 Calculate from plant operating
frequencies, the cracks are trans- history. Plant records of time and 6.8.3 Change in hardness.
granular.34,35 temperature can be used to calcu- CrMoV rotor material will soften as a
If dwell periods at maximum load late the creep-life fraction consumed result of high temperature exposure,
are introduced into the load cycle, using lower bound materials data with the effect exacerbated by the
crack growth occurs predominately and a life fraction rule. This method presence of stress as shown by the
during these dwells, intergranular provides only gross estimates of marked decrease in material hard-
cavitation occurs ahead of the crack creep damage as a result of inaccu- ness with increasing Larson-Miller
tip, and the crack propagation per racies in assumed history, material parameter, Figure 6-4. HP and IP
cycle is substantially increased.34-36 properties, and the life fraction rule. rotors show a decline in creep-rup-
Stress controlled cyclic loading of Such calculations are most useful in ture strength as the softening
smooth specimens of 1CrMoV steel determining key locations to be occurs. Therefore, if changes in
has revealed a transition from duc- evaluated more rigorously, for hardness can be measured, the
tile fracture at stress ranges greater scheduling maintenance outages, most highly damaged areas may be
than ± 245-260 MPa (~36 to 38 ksi) and screening for when inspections identified, and correlations between
to creep-brittle, intergranular fracture for damage should occur. softening and remaining creep life
at lower stress levels.52 This stress 6.8.2 Accelerated rupture testing can help life prediction. However,
level matches the transition stress in can be conducted on samples there are several difficulties. One is
creep-rupture experiments from removed from the component. Tests that the original distribution of hard-
ductile rupture to brittle failure by run at accelerated (higher) tempera- ness in the rotor is seldom known;
intergranular cavitation.37,38 tures, but the same stresses as the as a result, current measures of
service condition are conducted,

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 6-11

cracking. Prediction of cavitation is
Hardness Ratio = Hv/Hvo particularly important in the disc rim
blade attachment region.25
A relationship between cavity classi-
1.0 fication and fractional life expended
has been developed by Kadoya and
Goto44 and Tanemura45 and is
shown in Figure 6-5. A remote repli-
cation technique has been devel-
oped for replicating dovetail
The identification of creep cavitation
damage at the surface generally
requires removal of surface material
Hvo = Hardness before service and re-replication to determine the
T = Service temperature, °C gradient of damage. In fact, although
t = Service time, hours replication appears to be a useful
σ = Stress, Kg/mm2 technique for determining creep
damage (and fretting) in blade
attachments, it is not considered a
4.20 4.25 4.30 4.35 reliable means to predict remaining
G = log T(20 + log t) + 0.00217 (σ - 11) life in the absence of data on the dis-
tribution of cavity density with depth
below the surface.25
Figure 6-4. Hardness change of CrMoV rotor steel during exposure at elevated tem- Quantitative use of metallo-
perature and applied stress. Source: T. Endo, T. Goto, and H. Fujii42 graphic replicas - “A” parameter.
A qualitative method of relating
hardness may identify the softest coarsening, lattice parameter, ferrite creep damage features to remaining
material, but that may not be the chemistry analysis, and hardness creep life is the use of the “A” para-
most creep damaged material as it monitoring. These methods offer meter.47,48 It has been applied to
may have been a location of softer considerable promise as they are assessment of the disc rim attach-
material initially. Secondly, access non-destructive and can be used on ment area.43 It has been observed
can be a problem, particularly in the a routine basis to monitor creep that under uniaxial creep test condi-
rotor bore and blade attachment, damage accumulation. As more tions, the number and size of creep
although special equipment has development work is completed, a cavities increases with test time, fol-
been developed to perform remote current shortcoming, the lack of lowed by linking of the cavities and
hardness measures in the bore.43 quantitative relationships with the formation of microcracks. As a
remaining life will be overcome. As result, the “A” parameter is simply
At this time, quantitative application
with any sampling method, there is the ratio of number of grain bound-
of hardness to predictions of life is
always the issue of whether the aries which have a crack or cavity,
not practical, however, continued
sampled location is appropriate. no , to number of grain boundaries
work on this assessment means may
observed, nT ,:
result in more accurate formulations Qualitative use of metallo-
in the future. n
graphic replicas. Creep damage in A = no (6-12)
rotors is routinely evaluated by sur- T
6.8.4 Microstructural evaluation.
There are a number of methods face replication, and various meth- The method is executed as illus-
which have been pursued that relate ods for both qualitative and quantita- trated in Figure 6-6. A traverse line
measurable changes in the material tive evaluation of the results have is drawn on the microstructure paral-
microstructure to remaining creep been developed. Replication offers a lel to the loading direction. A dam-
life. Such methods include: means to sample non-destructively aged grain boundary is one which
cavitation measurement, carbide critical locations for estimates of the
state of creep cavities, linkage and

6-12 Life Assessment Methods

has a creep cavity or crack. The
Damage Rating microstructure is obtained using a
replica and typically examined at
Forging Creep Test Condition 400X, and a minimum of 400 bound-
T (°C) σ (MPa) tr (h) Mark aries are counted. Rules for count-
5 550 210 12800 ing are:
575 160 11700 • The grain boundary crossing the
550 232 6000 reference line should be
4 B 550 173 26464 observed from the triple point until
575 173 5305 the other triple point. Point “F” in
Figure 6-6 is a triple point, where
3 three grain boundaries converge.
• A grain boundary having at least
Rating one cavity or one crack is
2 1 = Undamaged counted as a damaged one.
2 = Isolated cavities Cavities or cracks at the triple
3 = Oriented cavities
4 = Microcracks point are included. Other bound-
1 aries without cavities and/or
5 = Macrocracks
cracks are counted as undam-
aged boundaries.
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 • For grain boundaries crossing the
Creep Life Fraction, t/tr reference line more than one time,
the crossing times become the
number of boundaries observed.
Figure 6-5. Creep cavitation damage observed in 1 CrMoV rotor steel as a function of • For cases where the reference
expended life. Source: T. Godo, et al.44
line crosses at the triple point, the
number of boundaries observed
is counted as one. When more
no = 4 nv = 6 than two of the grain boundaries,
no of which the triple point consists,
A = –––––– = 0.4
no + nv are damaged, the triple point is
counted as a damaged boundary.
Traverse When more than two of the grain
A B C D E F G H I J line boundaries are undamaged, the
triple point is counted as an
undamaged boundary.
A correspondence has been
developed between “A” parameter
and creep life fraction as shown in
Figure 6-7.
Figure 6-6. Illustration of the “A” parameter evaluation method. Damage boundaries
are A, B, C, and E. Undamaged boundaries are D, F, G, H, I, and J. Source: M.C.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 6-13

Number Fraction of Cavitated Analysis of Creep Crack Initiation
Grain Boundaries “A”
Break analysis into time
Calculate average stress in
0.3 blade attachment hook region over
time increment.

Compute rupture time from stress and
temperature, at each point in geometry
0.1 of interest over time increment.

0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 Calculate an increment of damage
by Robinson’s rule.
Creep Life Fraction t/tr

Crack initiation taken to occur

Figure 6-7. Relationship between the “A” parameter and creep life fraction. when damage sum equals 1.
The relationship was developed for CrMoV rotor steel. Source: T. Goto, T. Konishi, Crack size (depth) set to 0.51 mm
and J. Kumura43 (0.020 in.) for surface crack and to
xi + 0.25 mm (xi + 0.010 in.) for
subsurface crack at depth xi .
The “A” parameter has also been 6.8.5 Combined assessment of
used in a modified form by incorpo- creep crack initiation and propaga-
rating a “Y” factor50 that accounts tion. An example of how the vari- Analysis of Creep Crack Propagation
for differences in material composi- ous methods might be combined
tion. The “A” parameter provides a into an analysis of creep life (initia-
quantitative measure of the change tion plus propagation) is shown in Assume an increment of crack
growth; Calculate crack driving
in creep damage, and correlations Figure 6-8. At the present time, this force from use of C(t) or Ct .
with remaining creep life have been methodology has not been applied
established. As with correlations to blades or the disc rim attachment
with cavity density classification, a region, although it forms the basis of Calculate time to propagate a
problem in practical application is the approach used for analysis of crack the incremental amount.
the absence of data with depth other areas of the rotor.51
below the surface
Redistribute stresses; Add
increments until the crack is equal
in size to thickness of component–
Figure 6-8. Sample of assessment of taken to be failure.
creep crack growth initiation and propa-
gation. Adapted from S.A. Rau51

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p. 271.
Temperature Rotors”, International Joint Power
35. Neate, G.J., “Crack Growth in Bainitic CrMoV Steel Generation Conference, October, 1992.
at Elevated Temperature Under Cyclic Loading
47. Cane, B.J. and M.S. Shammas, “A Method for
Conditions”, International Conference on Advances in
Remanent Life Estimation by Quantitative Assessment of
Life Prediction Methods, American Society of Mechanical
Creep Cavitation on Plant”, Report TPRD/L/2645/N84,
Engineers, 1983, pp. 123-129.
Central Electricity Generating Board, Leatherhead,
36. Haigh, J.R., “The Mechanisms of Microscopic High Laboratories, U.K., June, 1984.
Temperature Crack Growth”, Mat. Sci. Eng., Volume 20,
48. Shammas, M.S., “Remanent Life Assessment of
1979, pp. 225-235.
Ferritic Weld Heat Affected Zone by a Metallographic
37. Ellison, E.G. and A.J.F. Patterson, “Creep-Fatigue Measurement of Cavitation Damage - the “A” Parameter”,
Interactions in a 1 CrMoV Steel”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Refurbishment and Life
Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Volume 190, 1976, Extension of Steam Plant, I Mech E., 1987, p. 289.
pp. 321-350.
49. Askins, M.C., Remaining Life Estimation of Boiler
38. Miller, D.A., W.J. Plumbridge, and R.A. Bartlett, Pressure Parts, Volume 3: Base Metal Mode, Final Report
Metal. Sci., Volume 15, 1981, p. 413. CS-5588, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, November, 1989.
39. American Society for Testing and Materials, 50. Kadoya, Y. and T. Goto, “Metallurgical Factors
Standard E139-95, “Standard Practice for Conducting Affecting Creep Cavitation Behavior and Rupture Ductility
Creep, Creep-Rupture and Stress-Rupture Tests of of Cr-Mo-V Steel Forgings”, Tetsu-to-Hagane, 78, 1992,
Metallic Materials”, 1995 Annual Book of ASTM p. 1736.
Standards, Volume 03.01, American Society for Testing
51. Rau, S.A., SAFER-PC Users Guide and Technical
and Materials, Philadelphia, PA, 1995.
Reference, worked performed under Research Project
40. Grunloh, H. and R. Ryder, Life Assessment of Boiler 2481-06, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, March, 1997.
Pressure Parts - Volume 7: Superheater/Reheater Tubes,
52. Krempl, E., and C.D. Walker, Fatigue at High
Final Report TR-103377, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, 1993.
Temperature, ASTM STP 459, American Society for
41. Viswanathan, R. and J.R. Foulds, Accelerated Stress Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, PA, 1969, p. 75.
Rupture Testing Guidelines for Remaining Creep Life
Prediction, Final Report TR-106171, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA,
February, 1997.

6-16 Life Assessment Methods

Drum Pressure (psia) Chapter 7 • Volume 1


28 0

16 0
12 0
10 0








Steam Chemistry
Concentration in Vapor/Concentration in Liquid

10-1 Fe3O4
Al2 O

and the Turbine

10-2 B2O3
4 Cl NiO
, (N
-3 4) SO
10 2
CaSO4 4

Cu2O SiO2


-6 LiCl
Na 3





220 200 160 120 80 60 40 30 20 10
Drum Pressure (atm)

1 2 6 10 20 60 100
Density of Liquid/Density of Steam

7.1. Introduction problems that affect both high pres-

Superheated steam entering a tur- sure and, most notably, the low
bine typically contains low levels of pressure turbine.
impurities. As the steam expands The phase transition zone (PTZ) in
through a turbine, the subsequent the LP turbine, where the expansion
precipitation of impurities onto the and cooling of the steam leads to
surfaces of steam path components condensation, is particularly sus-
leads to a variety of problems in the ceptible. A number of processes
HP, IP or LP turbine. Thus, the that take place in this zone such as
purity of boiler water, feedwater and precipitation of chemical com-
steam are some of the most impor- pounds from superheated steam,
tant criteria for ensuring the avail- deposition, evaporation, and drying
ability and reliability of components of liquid films on hot surfaces, lead
in fossil and nuclear power plants. to the formation of potentially corro-
This chapter examines the origin, sive surface deposits.
solubility and transport of impurities Understanding the processes of
to the turbine and their volatility in transport, nucleation of droplets, for-
the turbine (Section 7.2). mation of liquid films on blade sur-
Consideration of these events leads faces, and concentration of impuri-
to the development of steam purity ties is vital in understanding how to
guidelines. The resulting cycle prevent the damage mechanisms
chemistry guidelines for fossil and that result. These topics are
nuclear units are discussed in addressed in Chapter 8.
Sections 7.3 and 7.4 respectively. There have been numerous studies,
The specific application to operating experimental and survey, of steam
units is briefly reviewed in Section and deposit chemistry in turbines.
7.5. Chapter 8 then examines what An overview of some of the major
happens to impurities as they move research that has been completed is
through the turbine. Chapters 7 and provided in Table 7-1.
8 are vital to understanding some
of the most common and serious

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-1

Table 7-1
Overview of Key Historical Research Into Steam Impurities
Decade Researcher(s) or Agency Topic(s) References a

1930s • Straub • Steam turbine deposits, boiler carryover, field survey and laboratory data. •1
• Faulk and Ulmer • Steam separation. •2
• Baker • Steam separation. •3
• Powell • Steam contamination. •4

1940s • Fuchs and Rudoff • Carryover and deposition of silica by its volatility. • 5–7
• GE • Effects of deposits on turbine capacity and efficiency.
• Straub • Measured boiler carryover and solubilities in superheated steam. •8

1950s • Morey, Coulter, Kennedy and others • Measurements and discussion of steam solubilities of silica. • 9, 10
• Styrikovich, Martynova and others • Experimental and theoretical work. • 11, 12
• Various researchers • Extensive studies of condensation, separation, and mist formation.
• USSR • Guidelines for cycle chemistry. • 75

1960s • USSR researchers • Solubility in steam and steam-water distribution. • 13

• Various researchers • Boiling, condensation and impurity behavior in boiler tubes. • 14, 15
• Heitmann • Silica solubility diagram for a wide range of steam and water conditions. • 16
• Kirsch • Deposits. • 17
• Pocock • Study of solubility of copper in steam. • 18
• Cohen • Comprehensive treatment of water and steam chemistry for U.S. nuclear plants. • 19

1970s • ASME Research Committee • Intensified work in steam chemistry. • 18, 20–22
on Water in Thermal Power
Systems (Steam Purity Task Group)
• IAPS (now IAPWS–International
Association for Properties of Steam
and Water)
• Turbine and boiler manufacturers.
• First U.S. steam chemistry limits. • 21, 23
• Many field measurements of carryover, steam composition, and turbine deposits. • 12, 20, 24, 25
• Lindsay, Martynova, and others. • Improved theoretical understanding of steam chemistry. • 26, 27
• EPRI • Corrosion fatigue of turbine blades. • 28, 29
• Stress corrosion of disks. • 30, 31
• CRIEPI • Guidelines for cycle chemistry. • 74

1980s • EPRI, CEGB, VGB • Comprehensive plant-wide guidelines for cycle chemistry. • 32–35, 72, 73
• EPRI • Guidelines for monitoring, and international practice.
• Effect of phosphate treatment on steam and deposits. • 36
• Steam impurity interactions with magnetite and metal surfaces. • 37
• Concern of high carryover of chlorides and sulfates. • 38
• Research on solubilities (NaOH, NaCl, NH4Cl). • 39, 40
• Modeling volatility. • 41
• Experimental work on volatility of boric acid and amines. • 42
• Pitzer • Thermodynamics of NaCl solutions in steam. • 43
• Gallagher and Sengers • Modeling of steam chemistry near critical region. • 44
• First attempt to verify concentrated impurities in “salt zone” of running turbine. • 45
• Lindsay and Lee • Thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of precipitation/condensation of low volatility • 46
impurities in turbines.
• ABB/Svoboda • Composition of “first condensate” and steam moisture. • 47–49
• First laboratory study of deposition under dynamic and expanding steam • 50

7-2 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

Table 7-1
Overview of Key Historical Research Into Steam Impurities (continued)
Decade Researcher(s) or Agency Topic(s) References a

1980s • ASME and EPRI • Water Technology Handbook published in 1989. • 51

(cont.) • Development of practical multi-stage through-flow analyses.
• Computer prediction of condensate phenomena (without effect of impurities).
• Hill; Moses and Stein; Kantola; • Influence of impurities in condensing steam. • 52–55

1990s • EPRI • Volatility of impurities, salts, organics and oxides in steam. • 56, 57

a Reference to original work or to source that describes the research.
Adapted from: O. Jonas and N.F. Rieger58

7.2. Developing Guidelines for

Cycle Chemistry: Origin and HP
Transport of Impurities; Solubility turbine IP LP
Feed turbine turbine
and Volatility
Of the highest importance for power
plant operators is determining the Condenser
allowable concentrations of molecu- Attemperation Makeup
lar species and ions often present in
turbine steam, moisture, and
deposits, particularly NaCl, NH4Cl, Deaerator
NaOH, Na2SO4, and SiO2. Until
recently, the data and theory used
to determine steam purity limits and Condensate
to troubleshoot corrosion and depo- polisher
sition problems, provide for moisture HP heaters
control, and design wet steam tur- Impurity ingress Corrosion Deposition
bine stages were over 40 years
old.59 Further, current operating lim-
its for steam and boiler water are Figure 7-1. Major unit components and locations of impurity ingress, corrosion, and
derived from the equilibrium solubili- deposition in drum cycles. Source: R.B. Dooley and A. Bursik60
ties and volatilities of single com-
pounds while multicomponent mix- process cycle include: (i) condenser
in conjunction with turbine deposits.
tures and rapid boiling and steam cooling water inleakage, or (ii)
The concepts of boiler carryover,
expansion exist in the steam cycle. makeup demineralizer, evaporator or
mechanical and volatile carryover,
These shortcomings are gradually condensate polisher effluent conta-
and volatility under high pressure
being addressed by research of the mination. Corrosion products are
boiler conditions were introduced in
type described below, starting with
the 1930s and 1940s.1,8 generated in feedwater heaters and
the origin and transport of chemicals piping, and condensers, and subse-
in steam. Figure 7-1 shows typical locations
quently flow into the boiler and tur-
for impurity ingress, corrosion and
bine where they can deposit.
7.2.1 Origin and transport of chemi- deposition in fossil fired drum boil-
cals in steam. Prior to about 1940, ers. Contaminants such as chloride, Unit transients can cause increased
it was not believed that high pres- sulfate, organics, and carbon diox- ingress of impurities, hideout, and
sure steam could act as a solvent ide, enter the condensate part of the washing of impurities by wet steam.
for inorganic compounds such as cycle, but do their damage in the Such transients include: load
salts and hydroxides. This belief boiler (tube failures) or in the turbine changes, condensate polisher
was dispelled by the experiments of (blade and disc failures, and depo- exhaustion, introduction of a regen-
Fuchs5,6 and others, and by obser- sition). Sources for such impurity erated polisher, condenser leakage,
vation of the problems that occurred ingress into the steam and/or water

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-3

and ethanolamine.27,64,65,66 Studies
Drum Pressure (psia) on the effect of ammonia on carry-
over of chloride were also per-


28 0
24 0

16 0
10 0







formed at the Moscow Power
100 Institute.63
Discrepancies between field data

Concentration in Vapor/Concentration in Liquid

and the expected carryover were
10-1 Fe3O4
first reported by Jonas.67 The mea-
Al2 O
3 sured distribution coefficients for
10 -2 B2O3 NaCl and Na2SO4 were orders of
4 Cl
, (N
NiO magnitude higher than predicted by
4) S
CuO the ray diagram. Other shortcomings
10-3 2 O
that have subsequently been identi-
CaSO4 4

Cu2O SiO2 fied in using distribution coefficients

10 -4 based on the ray diagram
BaO include58,68:
CaCl2 • They were measured at high con-
10-5 centrations of a single species
Na MgO and as a result do not represent
LiCl the mixtures, or low concentra-
Na 3

Na tions of impurity typically encoun-

PO 4

tered today.

10-7 • They do not include some impor-

220 200 160 120 80 60 40 30 20 10
Drum Pressure (atm)
tant species such as ammonium
salts, lower ratio phosphates,
borates, salts of organic acids,
1 2 6 10 20 60 100
and other acids such as HCl and
Density of Liquid/Density of Steam
• They do not reflect reactions in
Figure 7-2. Distribution ratios for common boiler water contami-
the liquid phase (ionization, hide-
nants. Source: M.A. Styrikovich, et al. 11 out, reactions with boiler oxides)
and in the steam phase (dissocia-
tion, hydrolysis interaction with
batch addition of water treatment pressure. The “rays” begin at the suspended oxides).
chemicals and makeup water, inter- critical point of water where the ratio
mittent boiler blowdown, valve and is unity. The steepest slopes are for • The changes which occur in
pump testing, pH changes, shut- substances that ionize strongly in superheaters and reheaters, such
down, and startup. water; conversely, less steep slopes as reactions, adsorption, deposi-
reflect substances that do not ionize tion, washing, are not often con-
The current knowledge of the distrib-
readily in water. The ray diagram sidered when using the data.
ution of boiler water impurities and
provides a semi-empirical summary Recently an improved understand-
the volatilities of various species has
for a range of conditions and has ing of volatility of salts in steam
been gained from measurements by
been used to develop cycle chem- cycles has been gained by examin-
numerous investigators (see for
istry guideline levels. However, ing the partitioning (the ratio of the
example, refs. 2, 11, 27, 61-63).
because it has been found to be concentration of the neutral mole-
Traditionally, field and laboratory less accurate for conditions typical cule in the vapor phase to the activi-
carryover and volatility data have of high pressure boilers, it is recom- ties of the component ions in the liq-
been compared to the Styrikovich- mended that the actual carryover of uid phase) of common boiler water
Martynova ray diagram11,27 as all major chemical species be peri- salts, acids and bases. For exam-
shown in Figure 7-2. The ray dia- odically measured beginning during ple, in looking at the partitioning of
gram has been the most widely the commissioning of a new unit and ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) in labo-
known representation of the ratio periodically during its life.58 ratory-scale experiments from 120°C
of concentration-in-vapor to concen-
Work has been done on the distribu- (248°F) to 350°C (662°F), it has
tration-in-liquid as a function of
tion of volatile compounds such as been found that while the dominant
ammonia, morpholine, hydrazine, chloride species for NH4Cl solutions

7-4 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

in both high and low temperature
liquid are NH4+ and Cl–, the species Temperature (°C)
transported to the equilibrated Tc 300 200 150
vapor are predominately HCl and
NH3.56,57 An approximately similar Partitioning constants
picture exists for the partitioning
from sulfate solutions in the pres-
ence of sodium and ammonium 10
cations, with H2SO4 being the pre-
dominant species transported,
although the hydrolysis reactions of
the sulfate ion complicate the 0

Log KD
The key conclusion from these stud-
ies is that the chemistry is signifi-
cantly more complex than can be -10 NH3
predicted from the simple ray dia- HCl
gram68, particularly with the addition H2SO4
of more potentially volatile species. NH4Cl
For example, for all-volatile treat- NH4HSO4
ment (AVT), carryover of chloride to -20 NaCl
steam is most probably by NaOH
hydrochloric acid, and not ammo- Na2SO4
nium chloride; carryover of sulfate is NaHSO4
probably predominantly as sulfuric -30
acid, although ammonium and 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.6
sodium bisulfate are also likely to 1000° K/T
contribute to carryover.
The most recent partitioning con-
stants, KD, for common boiler water Figure 7-3. Partitioning constants, KD , for common boiler water
salts, acids, and bases represented by mathematical functions of
salts and bases are shown in Figure
the reciprocal of temperature in degrees Kelvin up to the critical
7-3. This work shows promise that a temperature of water, TC. Source: R.B. Dooley, A.F. Aschoff, and
fully predictive model will soon be P.J. Pocock70
available to calculate steam compo-
sition from boiler water composition
and to predict the early condensate
and liquid film composition from LP Fe3O4 SiO2
steam chemistry.
Solubility in Steam

7.2.2 Solubility of impurities in Cu(CuO)

steam and their volatilities in the
turbine. Chemical compounds are
soluble in superheated steam, and
their solubility sharply decreases as Mg(OH2) NaCl
the steam expands. Figure 7-4
shows the solubilities of the major
steam impurities plotted for steam
conditions through a fossil steam 0 2 4 6 8 10 11 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26
cycle from the HP to the LP turbine.
The figure emphasizes the impor- High-Pressure Turbine Intermediate- Low-
tance of the solubility of salts and Pressure Pressure
Turbine Turbine
hydroxide. In fact, the objective in Turbine Blade Rows
setting purity limits is to avoid devel-
oping a problem in those regions
where the solubility drops sharply Figure 7-4. Trends in the solubility of substances passing through a turbine operating
at supercritical pressure. Source: M.A. Styrikovich, O.I. Martynova, and L.S. Kurtova13

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-5

expansion from the IP turbine inlet to
Enthalpy (Btu/lb) the conden-ser.58 Flow velocities are
1350 subsonic through supersonic and
steam expansion rates (1/p • dp/dt)
can be up to 3000 s–1. Thus, the

s u nt
issue of applicable dynamic solubili-

es ta

pr ons
an ties, effects of flow and surface

t su Reheat
rhe roughness, and state of oxidation
1250 at
) continue to be important points of
Sat investigation.
1200 tion
) Non-reheat The key observation, confirmed in
bility SiO2 = 20 ppb
Solu many field studies is that the higher
NaCl = 10 ppb
1150 NaOH = 10 ppb the level of impurities entering the
ppb) Reheat
b ility ( turbine, the more pronounced they
Solu SiO2 = 10 ppb
NaCl = 5 ppb
appear in deposits (Chapter 8), and
NaOH = 5 ppb for key contaminants, the more likely
High lo

Low loa
that significant damage will occur in
1050 er ad
the turbine.

dar 7.3 Fossil Plant Cycle Chemistry
1000 an
St Guidelines
Starting with turbine steam composi-
Entropy tion and considering both mechani-
cal and vaporous carryover, the
allowable impurity concentrations in
boiler water can be determined. The
Figure 7-5. Derivation of turbine steam chemistry target values. development of unit cycle chemistry
[Btu/lbm x 2.326 = kJ/kg].
guidelines is vital to the availability
of the unit and the reliability of
(for instance for copper in the HP ubility limits for SiO2, NaOH and equipment throughout the unit.
turbine or for SiO2 in the LP). NaCl have been superimposed on Such guidelines can help control
the Mollier diagram. The rule cycle corrosion and deposition and
To date the basis for deriving cycle
applied is that the concentration of a the resultant damage to components
chemistry guidelines has been:
molecular impurity in superheated in the turbine steam path.
“Limiting the concentration of
steam should not exceed its solubil-
ionic contaminants throughout 7.3.1 Historical developments of
ity anywhere in the turbine.
the plant cycle to levels consis- cycle chemistry guidelines.
tent with steam impurity levels The actual temperatures and pres- Introduction of unified cycle chem-
tolerable in the turbine will ade- sures at which condensation occurs istry guidelines such as those by
quately protect the boiler and are the local conditions and require the former Central Electricity
other cycle components.” The consideration of a complex set of Generating Board (CEGB) in the
equilibrium solubilities under LP tur- factors such as heat transfer, surface
United Kingdom72, the Vereinigung
bine conditions are extremely low, a cleanliness, crevices, and surface
der Grosskraftwerks Betreiber (VGB)
fraction of a ppb, and it would not flow stagnation conditions.33 Further,
in Germany73, the Central Research
be practical to operate turbines with estimating the solubilities of common Institute of Electric Power Industry
steam containing these low levels chemical compounds that apply in (CRIEPI) in Japan74, in the former
merely to avoid deposition. the turbine environment, so called USSR75 and by EPRI in the U.S.33,
Fortunately, it has been found that “dynamic” solubilities continues to all resulted in significant reductions
operation at 1 to 10 ppb levels in have some uncertainties. Static, in cycle corrosion related failures
steam for most impurities has not equilibrium solubilities, for example and improvements in unit
generally resulted in significant of NaOH and NaCl are orders of availabilities.
buildup of deposits or corrosion.58 magnitude lower than dynamic solu-
bilities.50,71 A primary problem is the In the U.S., the 1986 “interim” guide-
Figure 7-5 illustrates the derivation
rapidly changing conditions. It takes lines for fossil units33 covered the
of turbine steam limits for reheat and
only about 0.2 seconds for steam most common chemistry control
non-reheat fossil units where the sol-

7-6 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

Table 7-2
Comparison of Normal Steam Limits in Fossil Plants
Oxygenated Treatment (OT),
All-Volatile Treatment (AVT)
Parameter Equilibrium Phosphate Treatment (EPT) Phosphate Treatment (PT) Caustic Treatment (CT)

Na, ppb 3 5 2
Cl, ppb 3 3 2
SO4, ppb 3 3 2
Cation conductivity, µS/cm < 0.15 < 0.3 < 0.3
SiO2, ppb 10 10 10
TOC, ppb 100 100 100
Source: R.B. Dooley 81

practices as of the early 1980s, Table 7-3

especially congruent phosphate Summary of Feedwater Chemistry Limits for Fossil Plant All-Ferrous and Mixed
treatment and all-volatile treatment Metallurgy Feedwater Systems
with deoxygenated
Cycle Chemistry AVT AVT Oxygenated Treatment
condensate/feedwater as treated by
Parameter (mixed metallurgy) (all-ferrous) (OT)
ammonium hydroxide and
hydrazine. The guidelines included pH25˚C 8.8 - 9.1 9.2 - 9.6 8.0 - 8.51
target values and action levels for 9.0 - 9.52
significant contaminants at critical Ammonia, ppm 0.15 - 0.4 0.50 - 2.00 0.02 - 0.071
sample points. These guidelines fol- 0.3 - 1.52
lowed the basic rule that if the over- Cation conductivity < 0.2 < 0.2 (< 0.15)
all cycle chemistry limits were set to (µS/cm) < 0.15 (< 0.1)
protect the turbine then they would
Fe, ppb < 10 <5 <5
also protect the boiler and other
(< 5) (< 2) (< 1)
cycle components.
Cu, ppb <2 < 23 < 23
The guidelines (i) differentiated (< 2) (< 1) (< 1)
between reheat and non-reheat
Oxygen, ppb <5 1 - 10 30 - 1501
cycle designs, (ii) suggested target
values and action levels for all key (< 2) 30 - 502
cycle contaminants in drum boilers Oxidizing-reducing < 06 >0 > 100
as a continuum over a broad range potential (ORP)5, mV
of operating pressure, 4.14 MPa
Source: R.B. Dooley 81 Notes: 1 For once-through units.
(600 psia) to 19.65 MPa (2850 2 For drum units.
psia), (iii) summarized all sample 3 Applicable if copper alloys in condenser.
points, monitoring and control para- 4 Values in parenthesis represent the achievable and desirable levels.
meters, target values, and action 5 ORP throughout this book refers to platinum versus Ag/AgCl2.
6 Usually less than -300 mV will be monitored when a reducing agent is
levels on a single cycle diagram for
each of the major cycles and chemi-
cal treatments, and (iv) featured a
consistent rationale that related all ments have been developed to • Once-through fossil units using
sample points, target values, and supersede the interim U.S. guide- all-volatile treatment70 and oxy-
action levels for each parameter to lines. Guidelines have now been genated treatment76,77.
the component(s) most affected by established for boiler water, feedwa- Table 7-2 provides a comparison of
that parameter. ter, and steam impurity levels for: the normal steam limits for each of
As a result of much research and • Fossil drum units using all-volatile these chemistry types; Table 7-3
analysis of the international experi- treatment70, oxygenated treat- shows the feedwater limits for fossil
ence base, additional guidelines for ment76,77, caustic treatment78 and plants.
specific boiler and feedwater treat- phosphate treatments79.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-7

7.3.2 Fossil unit boiler water
a) Operating Range of Boiler Water on Coordinated Phosphate treatment. The primary purposes of
Treatment boiler water treatment are to ensure
4.0 10.0 that (i) the steam has minimum
3.0 impurities to protect the turbine and
(ii) that the treatment can neutralize
2.0 Na/PO43.0 (TSP)
any contaminant ingress to prevent
Concentration (ppm)
Equivalent NaOH

concentration and resultant boiler
1.0 pH at 25C tube failures. There are currently
five choices for boiler water treat-
ment for drum cycles80:
0.4 9.0 • Equilibrium phosphate treatment
0.3 (EPT)
0.2 • Phosphate treatment (PT)
• All-volatile treatment (AVT)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 • Caustic treatment (CT)
ppm PO4
• Oxygenated treatment (OT)
b) Operating Range of Boiler Water on Congruent Phosphate
Treatment (CPT) For once-through units the boiler
4.0 10.0 water is controlled by the feedwater
3.0 Na/PO43.0 (TSP) treatment and thus reference should
be made to Section 7.3.3 and
2.0 Table 7-3.
Concentration (ppm)

Equivalent NaOH

9.5 Phosphate treatments.
pH at 25C

The use of phosphate chemicals for
CPT internal boiler water treatment is
more than 70 years old. Phosphate
0.4 9.0 provides good buffering of acids
and hydroxides and precipitates
0.2 residual hardness, forming remov-
able sludge (hydroxyapatite).
8.5 Figure 7-6 shows the development
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ppm PO4
of phosphate treatments. Coordi-
nated pH-phosphate control, Figure
c) Operating Ranges of Boiler Water on Equilibrium Phosphate 7-6a, was introduced in 1942 to pro-
Treatment (EPT) Used in Ontario Hydro and Congruent Phosphate
tect boiler tubes from “caustic
Treatment (CPT)
Na/PO43.0 (TSP) embrittlement” as well as the effects
4.0 10.0 of condenser inleakage of water
3.0 TSP + 1 ppm NaOH
Na/PO42.6 hardness contaminants. The use of
2.0 coordinated treatment led to a num-
Concentration (ppm)

ber of boiler tube failures believed to

Equivalent NaOH

9.5 be caustic gouging83 and, as a

pH at 25C

result, the move to the use of con-
gruent phosphate treatment with an
operating range below the curve of
0.4 9.0 molar ratio Na:PO4 of 2.6 as shown
0.3 in Figure 7-6b.

8.5 Figure 7-6. Historical development of

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 pH-phosphate control ranges in the
ppm PO4 absence of ammonia. TSP is trisodium
phosphate. Source: S.F. Whirl and T.E.
Purcell82; J. Stodola85

7-8 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

Many turbine owners have experi-
enced phosphate hideout in the Equivalent NaOH
boiler, (a decrease in phosphate and pH at 25°C Concentration (ppm)
an increase in pH with increasing 4.0
10.0 TSP + 1 ppm 3.0
load), and hideout return (when the NaOH
unit load is decreased, an increase PT
of phosphate occurs with a pH 9.5
depression). As a result of the
increasing awareness that phos-
phate hideout was symptomatic of 9.0 0.4
an underlying control problem, sev- Na: PO4 3.0 0.3
Na: PO4 2.8
eral investigations into root cause 0.2
Na: PO4 2.6
and correction have been initiated 8.5
(see, for example, ref. 84). 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Two phosphate treatments have ppm PO4
evolved as approaches to the previ-
ous problems: (i) phosphate treat-
Figure 7-7. Schematic of operating ranges of boiler water on
ment (PT) broadens the control equilibrium phosphate treatment (EPT), phosphate treatment (PT),
range above the sodium-to-phos- and congruent phosphate treatment (CPT). TSP is trisodium
phate 2.8 molar ratio curve and phosphate. Source: R.B. Dooley, A. Aschoff, and F. Pocock79
allows operation with up to 1 ppm of
free hydroxide; (ii) equilibrium phos- trol, choices will depend upon unit requirements shown in Table 7-2.
phate treatment (EPT) operates at a
specific issues. The key objectives Specifically, levels for sodium, chlo-
lower level of phosphate along with
from a boiler perspective are to mini- ride and sulfate should all be less
up to 1 ppm free hydroxide. Figure
mize or eliminate phosphate hideout than 3 ppb. Particular importance
7-6c shows the range for EPT (as
and to use only tri-sodium phos- should be given to impurity levels
used by Ontario Hydro).85 A com-
phate as the phosphate addition. during unit startup, especially if
parison of all three (CPT, PT and The treatments allow for the addition NaOH is added.
EPT) treatment ranges is shown in of NaOH to correct for low pH on
Figure 7-7. It should be noted that Caustic treatment (CT).
startup, and to increase pH if a
CPT (congruent phosphate treat- Historically, there has been justified
small contaminant enters. They also
ment) is applicable over the Na:PO4 concern over the operation of units
allow up to 1 ppm of free NaOH.
molar ratio range of 2.1-2.8; the ver- When operating in the free hydrox- under high levels of sodium hydrox-
sion shown in Figure 7-7 shows the ide range, there is a possibility for ide (> 10 ppm) and sodium phos-
most frequently used range below a getting NaOH into the steam. Thus phate (> 10 ppm) as was standard
molar ratio of 2.6. the key objective from a turbine per- in the 1950s and 1960s. As units
Under equilibrium phosphate treat- spective is to monitor steam sodium began to operate at higher pres-
ment, high pH excursions are con- levels (see Table 7-2) making sure to sures, caustic gouging of boiler
trolled with boiler water blowdown keep sodium levels < 3 ppb for EPT waterwalls became a serious prob-
and/or by reducing boiler pressure; treatment and < 5 ppb when operat- lem in U.S. units operating with
low pH excursions are counteracted ing with PT. sodium hydroxide. NaOH is also the
with adequate doses of tri-sodium most frequently identified chemical
phosphate and sodium hydroxide, or All-volatile treatment (AVT). species in LP turbine blade
with pressure reductions.79 Under AVT there are generally no deposits. As a result, a number of
solid additions to boiler water, variations on phosphate treatment
PT can be regarded as an exten- although the addition of NaOH or discussed above became the pre-
sion of EPT up to higher levels of Na3PO4 is allowed to correct for pH dominant chemistries.
phosphate (above 3 ppm) and on startup, or as a response to cont- After many early problems, there
maybe for lower pressure units. PT amination. The chemistry is set by has been considerable refinement in
has more tolerance if a unit is more the feedwater chemistry as dis- the application of sodium hydroxide
susceptible to the ingress of conta- cussed in Section 7.3.3. Operation and it is now estimated that it is
minants. with a condensate polisher is gener- used successfully in over 50,000
With phosphate treatments, as with ally required although some drum MW of plant worldwide.78
all options for boiler chemistry con- units using AVT do so without one.
The steam purity needs to meet the

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-9

The key to successful use of caustic shown on the table are the desirable of corrosion products, or to flow-
treatment lies in limiting the concen- and achievable feedwater corrosion accelerated corrosion.87
tration of anionic impurities, particu- product levels, the goals of any opti- A brief review of reducing agents is
larly chloride and in the strict control mization program. For mixed metal- useful to set the stage for the current
of sodium hydroxide; there needs to lurgy systems, it is clear that reduc- use of hydrazine. Until the 1950s
be a minimum NaOH concentration ing conditions (oxidizing-reducing sodium sulfite was used to deoxy-
to prevent acid conditions and potential (ORP) << 0 mV) are genate feedwater. Hydrazine was
achieve the required benefits, but required for all periods of operation introduced in Germany prior to 1950
the maximum level must be strictly including shutdown, whereas for all- to remove oxygen from boiler feed-
controlled to prevent caustic goug- ferrous systems, an oxidizing envi- water and to overcome the possibil-
ing in the boiler, carryover into the ronment (ORP > 0 mV) or a regime ity of acidic steam and condensate,
steam, and damage to austenitic without a reducing agent is pre- first in locomotives and tug boats,
superheaters and turbines. This ferred for high purity water.80 This then in power plants.88-90 The first
control is achieved through continu- topic is discussed in considerably introduction of hydrazine into U.S.
ous monitoring of the feedwater, more detail in Chapter 19 which units was at Duke Power in 1951.91
boiler water and steam, particularly addresses the problem of copper Until this time, and in fact through
for chloride, sodium, and alkalinity deposition in the HP turbine. the late 1950s, feedwater trains all
concentrations. If satisfactory values The historical approach to feedwater contained copper-based alloys.92
cannot be obtained, the reasons for treatment in the U.S. and many other
the high values should be investi- In the interim period, many alterna-
countries has consisted of adjusting
gated and, if necessary, the concen- tives to hydrazine have been devel-
pH with ammonia to 8.8 - 9.1 for
tration of impurities and conditioning oped and applied independent of
mixed copper/iron systems and to
chemicals in the boiler water should feedwater metallurgy. Unfortunately,
9.2 - 9.6 for all-ferrous systems, to
be reduced. none have the most important char-
deoxygenate the feedwater mechan- acteristic of hydrazine, which is no
Ideally to prevent deposition, the ically in the condenser and deaera- reaction or decomposition products
steam from high pressure boilers tor, and to “deoxygenate” chemically to affect the total plant cycle chem-
should contain no more than 2 ppb by the addition of a reducing agent. istry.93 For steam chemistry this is
sodium; well operated units achieve The belief was that all oxygen particularly important because many
less than 1 ppb. should be eliminated to control cor- of the newer organic alternatives
rosion. breakdown in the high temperature
7.3.3 Fossil unit feedwater treat-
This was the basic approach taken part of the cycle and give high lev-
ment. The primary purpose of
for all-volatile treatment, and until els of organic acids such as acetic
feedwater treatment is to deliver
1969 was the only feedwater treat- and formic acids in the steam.
feedwater to the economizer inlet
ment applied worldwide in plant These can have a major effect on
with the minimum impurities and
cycles with subcritical and supercrit- steam conductivity with levels as
corrosion products for all operating
ical once-through boilers; in the U.S. high as 0.4 µS/cm not being
regimes. This latter point is key for
this was the case until November, unusual. This is in contrast the
steam chemistry as many of the
1991.76 AVT can be applied to all desirable levels of < 0.15-0.2 µS/cm
mechanisms occurring in the steam
units, and is still the method of as shown in Table 7-2.
path are influenced or initiated
choice for plants with mixed metal-
by deposits caused by iron- or Just as for boiler water, the feedwa-
lurgy (copper and iron) in the feed-
copper-based feedwater corrosion ter must be optimized. The vari-
products. water train and/or for units without ables of importance are metallurgy,
condensate polishers. pH, cation conductivity, oxygen, and
For both all-ferrous and mixed met-
allurgy feedwater systems, the feed- In deoxygenated feedwater systems, oxidizing-reducing potential (ORP).
water treatment needs to be all- very low levels of oxygen (<< 1 ppb) ORP is also called oxidation-reduc-
volatile which means that ammonia in conjunction with high levels of a tion potential, oxygen-reduction
can be used by itself or combined reducing agent (such as hydrazine, potential, redox or electrochemical
with the use of hydrazine or an alter- N2H4) result in conditions reducing potential. It provides an indication
nate reducing agent (oxygen scav- to the materials in the feedwater of the relative corrosion potential of
enger). A summary of feedwater train.86 Under such conditions, feedwater. There are several,
chemistry limits for all-ferrous and either the normal oxide (Fe3O4) is slightly different ways of measuring
not protective on the ferrous alloys in ORP.94 In this book, values cited
mixed metallurgy systems in fossil
units is shown in Table 7-3. Also the feedwater train, or they break refer to measurements made with a
down, either event leading to an
excessive production and transport

7-10 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

Ag/AgCl reference electrode and a
platinum measuring electrode. ORP All volatile treatment (AVT)
is measured at ambient tempera- • Ferrous
tures similar to measurements of pH • Cation conductivity <0.2 µS/cm
and dissolved oxygen. • pH 9.2-9.6
N2H4 (>3 x O2)
The following sections look at feed- Fe <10 ppb NH3
water control in all-ferrous and in O2 <5 ppb
mixed metallurgy systems. HP LP
Boiler BFP DA CP CEP Condenser Feedwater treatment for Heaters Heaters
all-ferrous feedwater systems.
In all-ferrous feedwater trains, the Fe <2 ppb O2 O2 (>30 ppb)
major choices are deoxygenated Oxygenated treatment (OT) NH3
AVT or oxygenated treatment (OT). • All-ferrous feedwater train
Figure 7-8 shows the major differ- • Cation conductivity <0.15 µS/cm
ences between AVT, which attempts • pH 8.0-8.5
to minimize corrosion and flow-
accelerated corrosion using deaer-
ated feedwater with an elevated pH, Figure 7-8. Schematic comparison of all-volatile treatment (AVT) versus oxygenated
and OT which relies on oxygenated, treatment (OT) feedwater chemistries. Source: R.B. Dooley, A. Bursik, O. Jonas, F.
high purity water to minimize corro- Pocock, and J. Rice95
sion and flow-accelerated corrosion
in the feedwater train up to the mainly magnetite into the boiler and good availability. However, over the
economizer inlet. turbine. Thus the addition of reduc- years many problems emerged in
For AVT, the condensate is deaer- ing agents has had the opposite of these units on AVT.95 Under AVT,
ated in two locations in the plant the desired effect: there has been even if properly applied, the trans-
cycle: the condenser and the deaer- an increase in flow-accelerated cor- port of corrosion products can be
ator. Hydrazine is used as an addi- rosion of iron-based materials with a substantial (100s to 1000s ppb),
tional feedwater conditioner because concomitant increase of transported particularly during transients and
it is difficult to reach an oxygen level feedwater corrosion products and startups as shown in Figure 7-9.
of 5 ppb through the plant cycle associated problems. The subsequent deposition of feed-
using only thermal deaeration.77 water corrosion products is a con-
Most units operating under AVT con-
The selected level for pH with AVT tributor to a variety of turbine dam-
trol can meet the guideline require-
ranges between 9.2 and 9.6. For age, as well as influencing boiler
ments and action levels, and have
oxygenated treatment, an oxygen
level of 30-150 ppb is maintained
across the whole plant. 76,77
Reduced pH levels (8.0 to 8.5) are 800 80
possible because of the use of oxy-
Copper Concentration (ppb)

700 Iron 70
Iron Concentration (ppb)

gen as the corrosion inhibitor.

600 60
The trend throughout the 1980s and
early 1990s was toward lower oxy- 500 50
gen levels and if mechanical/thermal 400 40
deaeration was insufficient, then
300 30
large amounts of a reducing agent
were applied (sometimes between 200 20
50-100 ppb). This causes the feed- 100 10
water to become more reducing
0 0
electrochemically (oxidizing-reduc- 0 1 2 3 4 5
ing potential (ORP) < -300 mV). Time, hours
As noted above, under such condi-
tions the oxide scales in the feedwa-
ter train become nonprotective, Figure 7-9. Feedwater total iron and copper concentrations dur-
ing startup. Source: J. Brown and R.E. Massey96
leading to an excessive production
and transport of corrosion products,

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-11

once-through and drum units have
No current been outstanding with very large
Step 1 problems reductions of feedwater corrosion
Review normal or
products (usually iron < 1 ppb at the
Continue use of economizer inlet) as a result of the
current feedwater current treatment
treatment more oxidizing environment (ORP >
No problems.
BUT possible
+ 120 mV) and the change of the
Step 2
economic savings Low level of surface layers from magnetite to
Monitoring corrosion products FeOOH. This reduction of corrosion
baseline products has been responsible for
the observation that the turbine
blade path is much cleaner. It
Step 3 should be noted that OT provides
the safest phase transition zone
Reduce oxygen Eliminate oxygen environment compared to phos-
scavenger scavenger
in steps
phate and all-volatile treatments.
This is discussed in more detail in
Chapter 8 in the sections dealing
with moisture, early condensate,
and deposits in the turbine.
(as in Step 2) Figure 7-10 shows the overall
approach to developing optimized
feedwater treatment in all-ferrous
systems. The key parts are monitor-
Step 5 ing of iron, pH, oxygen, and the oxi-
dizing-reducing potential (ORP) at
Yes Can unit No
convert to OT? the economizer inlet as a minimum,
Step 7 Step 6 for all types of operating regimes
Convert to OT. Optimize feedwater (full and partial load, shutdown and
Drum and once- with minimum O2 startup). Not all units with all-ferrous
through units scavenger metallurgy may be suitable for con-
version to OT. Some may not have a
condensate polisher or be able to
produce feedwater with cation con-
Figure 7-10. Roadmap for optimizing feedwater treatment for all-ferrous systems. ductivities of better than 0.15 µS/cm.
Source: R.B. Dooley and A. Bursik60 These systems should, however,
still be optimized and made less
tube failures and an increased fre- hydrate (FeOOH) forms which reducing.86 Advantages of running
quency of chemical cleaning. As a blocks the pores of the original without an oxygen scavenger have
consequence of these problems, a Fe3O4 and reduces the transport of been realized in both drum and
change to oxygenated treatment for oxygen and iron ions through the once-through units.86 This is very
appropriate units has become the layer.76 These surface layers of important as there are large cost
recommended practice. FeOOH also have a much lower sol- savings in eliminating or reducing
ubility in flowing feedwater than the amount of reducing agent.
It is now clear that the addition of
even small levels of oxygen (> 5 Mixed metallurgy feedwater
ppb) to high purity water (cation Oxygenated treatment was intro- systems. Copper alloy corrosion in
conductivity < 0.15 µS/cm) provides duced in Germany in 1969 and in condensate and feedwater systems
a substantial reduction of trans- the former Soviet Union in 1970; is a function of oxygen, carbon diox-
ported feedwater products.97 This subsequent introduction into the ide, and ammonia. Mixed metal-
occurs because protective or pas- U.S. occurred in 1991 and over 110 lurgy feedwater systems (those con-
sive oxide layers form in the pres- once-through units have subse- taining copper-based alloys) gener-
ence of a limited amount of oxy- quently been converted.76,77 In
ally need a reducing environment
gen.86 Specifically, ferric oxide 1994, the first U.S. drum unit was (ORP<< 0 mV) and thus hydrazine
converted. The results for both or an alternate reducing agents

7-12 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

will be required. The feedwater At the present time it is not known used to modify or influence the
chemistry should be optimized over how these additions affect many of crevice pH in nuclear steam
the complete operating spectrum for the topics of Chapter 8: moisture for- generators.98
the unit. The transport of copper mation rates, nucleation, early con- If there are no copper alloys, a pH of
and its deposition in the HP turbine densate, liquid film formation and up to 10 at 25°C (~77°F) is typically
is covered extensively in Chapter 19. deposition in the turbine. used. If copper alloys are present,
Other additives, such as titanium ammonia corrosion and the forma-
7.4 Nuclear Plant Cycle Chemistry oxide and/or boric acid, are also tion of volatile copper-ammonia
Typical limits for steam and feed-
Table 7-4
water purity for nuclear units are
Typical Steam Limits in Nuclear Plants
provided in Tables 7-4 and 7-5
respectively. Parameter PWR BWR1
7.4.1 Pressurized water reactors.
In PWRs, secondary side chemistry Na, ppb < 0.05 <3 (see note 4)
is typically alkaline and oxygen Cl, ppb < 0.1 <5 < 0.05
free.98 At least four different water SO4, ppb < 0.1 <3 < 0.05
treatments have been used world- Silica, ppb NL < 10 NL
wide: all-volatile treatment, coordi-
nated phosphate, oxygenated treat- Cation conductivity, µS/cm < 0.25 < 0.25 —
ment, and octadecylamine (ODA). Conductivity, µS/cm — — < 0.0656
Of these the optimum treatment is Notes:
all-volatile treatment where pH and RSG—recirculating steam generator
chemistry control are achieved by OTSG—once-through steam generator
the addition of a slightly alkaline NL—no limit established
reagent to the demineralized water, 1 Steam values are not typically measured. Values in this table are taken as nominally 1% of reactor water
in combination with oxygen free limits.
conditions. The alkaline control is 2 Steam values are not routinely measured. Values in this table are taken as nominally 1% of steam generator
blowdown limits.
most commonly achieved by using 3 Steam values are not normally measured. Values in this table are based on feedwater values. Steam will
ammonia, morpholine or ethanola- always be less than the feedwater values.
mine which can give rise to high 4 Sodium limit can be estimated from conductivity limit.
conductivities in steam (0.4– 0.5 5 Typical values can be substantially higher for plants using alternative amines as a result of organic acid
µS/cm). This is a major difference partitioning from breakdown of amines.
6 Steam value is not normally measured. Value in this table is based on feedwater limit. Steam values will be
with fossil treatments. These volatile less than feedwater values.
additions do not concentrate in the
steam generator in contrast to non-
volatile additions such as phosphate Table 7-5
that would. Typical Feedwater Limits in Nuclear Plants
Oxygen free conditions are achieved Parameter PWR BWR
by a reducing agent, most often
hydrazine (50–600 ppb), added to
reduce free stream oxygen and to pH25˚C a a
ensure that iron flows in a reduced Ammonia, ppm a a
oxide form into the steam generator. Cation conductivity, µS/cm < 0.2 < 0. 2
This level of hydrazine is also used
Specific conductivity, µS/cm < 0.065
to prevent the occurrence of inter-
granular attack and stress corrosion Fe, ppb <5 <5 <5
cracking of Inconel 600 tubing Cu, ppb <1 <1 < 0.5
which has been a severe corrosion O2, ppb <5 <3 15 - 200
problem. Hydrazine is not normally
H2, ppm
used to guard against abnormal
oxygen such as excessive air leak- Notes:
age into the condenser. RSG—recirculating steam generator
OTSG—once-through steam generator
a—based on site-specific program

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-13

complexes are a concern. As a internals. Therefore, BWRs use pure steam piping which limits personnel
result, a room temperature pH of 9.2 water with only minimal contami- and increases the cost of plant
should not be exceeded and control nants. The water can be treated as maintenance.
of excessive oxygen inflow by air neutral (pH25 = 7). Noble metal chemical addition
ejectors or mechanical means (e.g., Two approaches to water chemistry (NMCA) has been tested at one
reducing condenser in-leakage) is are used in BWRs: “normal water plant. In this method, low concen-
required. chemistry” and “hydrogen water trations of platinum or rhodium are
The selection of pH level and amine chemistry” which is used by most introduced into the reactor vessel
type is primarily a compromise plants in the U.S. and many others during a refueling outage for 24-48
between the acceptable corrosion of worldwide. A third approach, being hours at 120°C (~250°F). The com-
various materials present in the tested at a U.S. unit, is noble metals pounds decompose and plate out in
steam-water system, operation of chemical addition (NMCA). a thin layer of noble metal onto the
the demineralizer, and the cost of vessel and internals to protect com-
Normal water chemistry (NWC) was
disposal of demineralizer wastes. ponents from IGSCC at low feed-
the original approach to BWR water
Choice of the proper amine will also water hydrogen concentrations.
chemistry. In NWC, the final feed-
be dependent intimately upon an water oxygen is specified to be
understanding of the partitioning of 7.5 Specific Application of Cycle
between 15-50 ppb; the oxygen
the compound between the steam Chemistry Guidelines
content of the main steam line is on
and liquid phases. If the amine is The prevention of several of the
the order of 18,000 ppb. The thou-
volatile, it will tend to stay with the sand-fold increase is caused by most common failures in the turbine
vapor phase and leave liquid-rich steam path requires a cycle chem-
radiolysis of the water in the reactor
areas downstream unprotected. For istry that is specifically designed
core. The high levels of oxygen are
example, ammonia which is volatile and adopted for the particular unit.
beneficial in protecting the high
will not protect the moisture separa- The chemistry of the cycle is so
pressure portions of the BWR
tor drains well because it tends to important when dealing with the tur-
extraction system. However, oxygen
stay with the vapor phase going to bine steam path that, as a minimum,
at these high levels can lead to
the low pressure turbine. the following features must be an
intergranular stress corrosion crack-
As shown in Table 7-4, the break- ing (IGSCC) of austenitic recircula- integral part:
down of amines can lead to organic tion piping. There is also a concern 1. The optimum choice of boiler
acid partitioning and can result in that reactor vessel internals may also water chemistry, equilibrium
steam cation conductivities in be damaged by IGSCC and by irra- phosphate treatment (EPT), phos-
excess of 0.3 µS/cm. diation-assisted stress corrosion phate treatment (PT), all-volatile
cracking. The problems with high treatment (AVT) or caustic treat-
7.4.2 Boiling water reactors. In oxygen levels have lead to a move to ment (CT), is made for fossil
BWRs conditions are typically neu- the second approach to water chem- drum units.
tral and oxygenated, with as clean a istry–hydrogen water chemistry.
cycle as possible; in some units, 2. The optimum choice of feed-
conditions have been changed to Under hydrogen water chemistry water chemistry is made for each
neutral and reducing (hydrogen (HWC), hydrogen is injected into nuclear and fossil unit to minimize
injection) because of material the final feedwater. This lowers the the transport of feedwater corro-
integrity problems.98 equilibrium concentration of oxygen sion products. For once-through
throughout the reactor vessel and fossil units the key choice is
In BWRs all feedwater goes through recirculation loop. Additionally, the between oxygenated treatment
the reactor core. Radiolysis caused injected hydrogen (~ 1-2 ppm) will (OT) and all-volatile treatment
by the neutron and gamma fields lower the main steam line oxygen (AVT). For nuclear units the
decompose even the most stable to about 5 ppm (from 18 ppm for primary concern is to protect the
compounds. As a result, BWR NWC). Two disadvantages of HWC steam generator as indicated
plants do not inject treatment agents are (i) the possibility of increased above.
(other than possibly oxygen) such flow-accelerated corrosion in areas
as ammonia into the feedwater. It is 3. Specific operating guideline limits
of the steam system that were previ-
believed that the presence of are derived for each unit with par-
ously protected by the high oxygen
decomposition byproducts might ticular attention being given to
levels and (ii) there is a large
pose unacceptable risks to the fuel increase in the radioactive dose the steam purity limits especially
cladding, the reactor vessel, and when new/organic feedwater
rate in the area surrounding the
treatments are used.

7-14 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

4. Proper procedures and strict con- Table 7-6a
trols of impurities be established “Core” Monitoring Parameters for Fossil Plants (Minimum level of instruments for all plants/units)
for operating procedures such as
unit layup and unit startup. Usage, Measurement
5. A minimum “core” level of instru- Parameter Measurement Locations On-line/ Grab Frequency
mentation is provided for every
Cation conductivity • Condensate pump discharge (CPD) O C
unit. Table 7-6a shows this for
fossil plants. Cation conductivity • Polisher outlet or economizer inlet O C
6. Each operator should have a set
Cation conductivity • Hot reheat steam or main steam O C
of cycle chemistry goals for
• Downcomer1 O C
every unit. Table 7-7 provides
an example for fossil plants. pH (Drum Boilers) • Blowdown or downcomers O C
A primary goal is to eliminate all tur-
bine damage that is related to cycle Dissolved oxygen • CPD O O
chemistry; this is currently achiev- • Economizer inlet O O
able by optimizing boiler and feed- • Downcomer1 O O
water chemistry which ultimately Sodium • CPD O C
control the steam chemistry. Such
optimization includes requirements Sodium • Polisher outlet or economizer inlet O C
for the highest quality condensate
and feedwater, an emphasis on Sodium • Hot reheat steam or main steam O C
cleaning up the overall cycle, and
eliminating excessive deposition.
The key feature involves a detailed Table 7-6b
knowledge of the steam chemistry Additional Monitoring or Diagnostic Parameters for Fossil Plants
for all types of operation. For once-
through, most fossil drum and Usage, Measurement
cycling units, and all nuclear units, Parameter Measurement Locations On-line/ Grab Frequency
condensate polishers will be the key pH • Economizer inlet O C
means to achieve this.
The need for frequent fossil boiler Specific conductivity • Economizer inlet O C
chemical cleaning is a major indica- • Treated makeup O C
tor of non-optimized feedwater
Oxidizing-reducing • Economizer inlet O C
chemistry. It also implies a dirty
potential (ORP)
boiler that is more susceptible to
contaminant excursions. Another Cation conductivity2 • Blowdown or downcomer O C
target therefore is to clean up the
cycle so as to eliminate chemical Silica • Treated makeup O C
cleaning in once-through units and
put it on at least a 10 year cycle for Phosphate2 • Blowdown or downcomer O or G C or S
drum units.
Chloride3 • Blowdown or downcomer O or G C or D
7.5.1 Unit layup and effect on Iron • Economizer inlet O W
impurities transported to the turbine.
During shutdown, a moist, oxy- Copper • Economizer inlet O W
genated environment comes in
contact with the deposits and evap- Total Organic Carbon • Condensate pump discharge O W
orated liquid films that form on
steam path surfaces during unit Air Inleakage • Air removal system O or G C or D
operation. The resulting aggressive 1 Drum boilers on oxygenated treatment
local environment can lead to rapid 2 Drum boilers on phosphate treatment
3 Drum boilers with all-volatile treatment or caustic treatment
pitting (see Figure 23-19 and corre-
sponding discussion in Chapter 23).
O—On-LIne G—Grab C—Continuous or Semi-Continuous
S—Grab, Once/Shift D—Grab, Once/Day W—Grab, Once/Week

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-15

Table 7-7
Goals for a Cycle Chemistry Improvement Step 1 Step 2
Program No Intermediate and
Short term shutdown
• To eliminate boiler tube failures influenced long term
by cycle chemistry. Yes Yes
• To eliminate turbine chemical problems
such as LP blade and disk cracking, and Maintain condenser Evacuate reheater
deposits. vacuum and turbine with condenser
• To eliminate the need for boiler chemical seals vacuum
cleaning for units with all-ferrous feedwater
• To extend the period between chemical Inert the deaerator Break reheater
cleans to over 10 years for units with mixed and heater shells vacuum with
metallurgy feedwater systems.
Nitrogen purge
• To install simple, reliable cycle chemistry
instrumentation which operate, on-line and
• To shorten the startup period as a result of Inert the boiler with Drain condenser
automatic system under Nitrogen
• Optimization of shutdown, layup and
startup chemistry.
• The elimination of chemical holds in the
startup sequence. Maintain chemical
Dry layup
• To develop operational guidelines with limits per guidelines
action levels for all units.
• To identify the optimal managerial

It is also a key root cause to Yes No

environmentally-assisted cracking:
corrosion fatigue and stress corro-
Step 3 Step 4
sion cracking. Unfortunately, very No Drain system to
few turbines (less than 1%) are Dry air
remove all water
protected during unit shutdown.
This section reviews unit shutdown Yes
and layup procedures. An overall
roadmap to developing shutdown Drain system to Pressurize with N2 all
and layup procedures for most remove all water wetted parts
units is shown in Figure 7-11.
Customization will be required for
specific units, and guidance about
issues specific to various chemis- Customize for specific Maintain small
tries is available.99 chemistry Nitrogen flow through
condenser, turbine
and deaerator

Figure 7-11. Roadmap to develop shut- Notes: *No Hydrazine for OT units
down and layup guidelines common to **Limit pH to 9.0 to 9.2 if units
most units. Source: R.B. Dooley, A. have copper alloys in cycle;
Aschoff, M. Ball, A. Bursik, O. Jonas,
and F. Pocock99 maintain Hydrazine at
40-50 ppm

7-16 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

Wet layup

Step 5 Step 6

Traditional Low O2 scavenger

Back fill superheater
No 200 ppm Hydrazine*
Yes Yes
10 ppm ammonia.
Nitrogen cap
Fill boiler with 10 ppm Add 5-10 ppm
Ammonia; and up to Hydrazine when boiler Step 8
200 ppm Hydrazine* pressure decays
Very long term
to 200 psi (1.4 MPa)

Add Nitrogen cap
Fill feedwater system
when boiler pressure Isolate reheater
with 200 Hydrazine*
decays to 5 psi
10 ppm Ammonia**
(0.03 MPa)

Establish boiler Maintain feed water Backfill reheater and

Nitrogen cap of 5 psi without change superheater with 200
(0.03 MPa) ppm Hydrazine*
10 ppm Ammonia
Nitrogen cap
Step 7
Step 9
Add Nitrogen to condenser
while turbine spins down. For maintenance:
Maintain slow N2 flow. purge with air all N2
from equipment to be
Test to ensure safe
Add Nitrogen to deaerator environment.
and storage tank while still
Maintain slow N2 flow

Maintain Nitrogen cap

on shell side of
feedwater heaters

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-17

HP turbine IP turbine LP turbine


Feedwater Cond
heaters pumps

S.H. drain
Steam side Hot
D.H. unit well



Process air discharge

Process air return

Figure 7-12. Steamside dehumidifcation flow. Source: D.B. Griffin and H.D. Thomas102

Wet layup. Unit layup procedures startup chemistry, reduces layup Figure 7-12 shows one flow path
can be generally divided into wet corrosion, reduces boiler tube arrangement.102 Dry air from the
and dry procedures. In general, wet deposits, and lengthens the time dehumidifier is discharged into the
layup requires filling most of the sys- between chemical cleanings. Safety hotwell and then flows through the
tem with an alkaline reducing solu- issues are very important when LP turbine and subsequent turbine
tion (with an excess of a reducing using a nitrogen cap. sections back to the boiler. Dry air
agent) and preventing air ingress by flows through the feedwater side of
Recently layup guidelines have
pressurization with an inert gas.99 the heaters and is discharged out of
been introduced in Russia with the
Note that this procedure does not the system, back to the dehumidifier.
filming amines (ODA).101
apply to units utilizing oxygenated Condensate pumps receive dry air
treatment. During wet layup, the Dry layup. Dry layup requires from the hotwell and discharge it
reducing agent concentration is drainage while hot, and removal of back to the dehumidifier from the
monitored. Also the boiler and all water followed by pressurization discharge check valves. Extractions
economizer are circulated routinely. with a moisture free inert gas or by are left open so dry air can reach
Wet layup is often used when a use of dehumidified air to maintain a the feedwater heaters, from which
boiler might have to be returned to low moisture environment.99 Dry air is returned to the dehumidifier.
service on relatively short notice.100 layup is practiced routinely interna- Drip pumps and crossover heaters
Wet layup is generally recom- tionally and is gaining popularity in are protected in the same manner.
mended for relatively short periods the U.S. for both longterm and short Dry air is extracted from each water-
but may extend up to six months term layup. Corrosion can be miti- wall header and returned to the
and longer. Extensive use of nitro- gated by maintaining air of relative dehumidifier.
gen blanketing is recommended in humidity of 60% of less in contact
Air moisture levels should be
conjunction with wet storage. The with corrosion prone surfaces.
checked as the air enters and exits
use of a nitrogen cap improves the reheat section. Two humidistats

7-18 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

Table 7-8
Generic Layup Alternatives
Method Advantages Disadvantages

Wet storage with ammonia/ 1. No concern about humidity. 1. Possible pollution when draining.
hydrazine solution 2. Easily maintained. 2. Need to recirculate regularly.
(requires nitrogen blanket) 3. Easily tested. 3. Hydrazine possible carcinogen.
4. With proper installation, leaks can be easily 4. High water consumption prior to startup; solution
detected. must be drained and possible rinsed.
5. Superheaters and reheaters may be stored safely. 5. Regular monitoring.
6. If facilities are installed, solution may be reused. 6. Ammonia must not be added if copper or copper
alloys are present in the system.
7. Tight isolations are prerequisite.
8. Not recommended if freezing may occur.
9. Draining if work is to be carried out.
10. Pure water (demineralized) must be used.

Nitrogen 1. System need not be completely dry. 1. Very dangerous: asphyxiation of workers if not
2. Completely independent of climatic conditions. properly vented.
3. May be used as a capping of normal operating fluid 2. Preferably carried out while system is being drained.
during outages.

Dry air 1. Readily available basis constituent. 1. Drying equipment and blowers required.
2. Maintenance on plant can be performed without 2. Climatic conditions may cause rapid deterioration in
problems. storage conditions.
3. Easy monitoring. 3. Hermetically sealing may be required to prevent
4. No risk to personnel. #2 above.
5. Whole plant may be stored dry if drainable or dryable. 4. System must be completely dry.
6. Independent of ambient temperature if air dry enough. 5. Sediment may cause corrosion if hygroscopic.
7. Residual heat in boiler steelwork utilized for drying. 6. SO2 and dust must be excluded from the air used.
7. If work to be carried out on part of dried system,
that part of system must be isolated and redried
8. Even draining hot and under pressure does not
ensure complete water removal.

Source: R.B. Dooley, A. Aschoff, M. Ball, A. Bursik, O. Jonas, and F. Pocock 99

control the dehumidifier heaters be stored wet, but is not recom- layup chemicals, layup preparation
and blower to maintain the returning mended. The turbine, however, and maintenance. Layup periods
air humidity to between 15% and can only be laid up dry. are defined as99:
25%.99 The percentage of time that Table 7-8 shows the advantages and • Short term shutdown (wet)–
the heaters stay on is a function of disadvantages for layup alternatives overnight through a weekend.
ambient humidity, but is typically for a complete fossil plant. The chemistry conditions for
around 40%.99 boiler water and pre-boiler sys-
Length of unit layup. As indicated
Note that unless special facilities are tems are usually kept in the nor-
by the roadmap in Figure 7-11, the
available, during shutdown the tur- mal operating range. The boiler
length of unit layup will determine
bine, condenser (steam side), and should be full and under pres-
the proper procedures to be
reheater are generally considered sure. The unit is protected from
applied, although there should not
together as there is no practical way air ingress. The condenser vac-
be any difference in the degree of
to isolate them. With special facili- corrosion protection provided.99 The uum and turbine seals are main-
ties incorporated, the reheater can tained; the deaerator, heater
most significant differences between
be isolated from the turbine and may layup periods are in the cost of

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-19

shells, and boiler are inerted with (77°F)), and a positive nitrogen specific guidelines. Table 7-6a pro-
nitrogen or steam; and the feed- pressure is maintained to exclude vides a “core” list of instrumentation
water chemistry is maintained air from unflooded spaces. Note which represents the minimum level
according to the requirements for that the use of hydrazine is not for every fossil plant. Table 7-6b
the treatment philosophy (phos- recommended for units on oxy- provides a list of additional monitor-
phate, caustic, AVT or oxy- genated treatment. A wet layup ing or diagnostic parameters and
genated treatments) employed. can also be conducted with instruments that may be required to
treated good quality boiler water verify the chosen chemistry or for
• Intermediate shutdown (wet and
of the same chemical composition troubleshooting.
dry) longer than a weekend and
as that used during operation.
up to one week. Under wet con- The use of monitoring and diagnos-
Under dry conditions the hot
ditions chemistry is maintained in tic results of chemical species plays
boiler is drained and purged of all
the normal operating range and an important role in (i) confirming
moisture with nitrogen and a posi-
the boiler is allowed to cool. the mechanism, (ii) identifying root
tive pressure of nitrogen is main-
Positive nitrogen pressure is cause(s), (iii) specifying optimal cor-
tained. Alternatively, the unit may
applied and maintained to pre- rective action, and (iv) ensuring the
be stored under properly con-
vent air ingress as pressure longterm effectiveness of the chosen
trolled dry dehumidified condi-
decays below positive pressure. preventative action.
tions. For longterm shutdowns,
Under dry conditions, the hot
the turbine layup should involve For fossil plants, it is preferable to
boiler and associated systems
dehumidification. monitor reheat steam chemistry to
are drained hot and purged with ensure that contaminants introduced
nitrogen to remove all traces of Monitoring during layup. All layup through attemperation and from
moisture. Air ingress is controlled conditions, dry or wet should be deabsorption in the
by maintaining a positive nitrogen either continuously or periodically superheat/reheat circuits are moni-
blanket on the boiler, superheater, monitored. The level of moisture tored. This has shown to be the
and associated steam spaces should be monitored on a frequent most reliable steam monitoring loca-
until moisture is removed and the basis to ensure that dehumidification tion. Alternatives are main steam
metal cools. If dehumidification is adequate to protect turbine com- and saturated steam (on drum
equipment is installed, then this ponents. units). It is particularly important to
can be applied to the turbine. monitor saturated steam on drum
7.5.2 Instrumentation and monitor-
• Longterm shutdown (wet and dry) ing for unit cycle chemistry. All units units with caustic or phosphate
–longer than a week. In general, should have a set of reliable, simple treatments to immediately detect any
under wet conditions, hydrazine instruments to optimize the cycle sodium carryover (as NaOH). Main
concentrations are elevated, pH chemistry and as a means to imple- steam would be the choice for
is maintained above 9.0 (25°C ment and verify the required unit- nuclear units.

7-20 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

1. Straub, F.G., “The Cause and Prevention of Steam 16. Heitmann, H.G., “Die Loslichkeit von Kieselsaure in
Turbine Blade Deposits”, University of Illinois Bulletin, No. Wasser und Wasserdampf Sourie ein Einfulss auf
36, May 5, 1936. Turbinenrerkiesselungen”, Siemens Schubertwerke AG,
2. Faulk and Ulmer, “Foaming of Boiler Water”, Ind. and October, 1963.
Eng.Chem., Volume 31, 1939, p. 158. 17. Kirsch, H. and S. Pollan, “Deposition of Corrosion
3. Baker, “Mechanical Purification of Steam within the Products in the Water-Steam Cycle of Steam Generating
Drum Boiler”, ASME Trans., Volume 61, p. 711. Plants”, Chemie-Engenieur Technik, Volume 40, 1968,
pp. 897-903.
4. Powell, S.T., “Steam Contamination: II”, Combustion,
October, 1937, p. 27. 18. Pocock, F.J. and J.F. Stewart, ”The Solubility
of Copper and Its Oxides in Supercritical Steam”,
5. Fuchs, O., Z. Elektrochem. u. Angewandte J. Engineering for Power, 1963.
Physikalische Chem., 47 (2), 1941, p. 101.
19. Cohen, P., Water Coolant Technology of Power
6. Fuchs, O., Z. Elektochem, 47, 1945, p. 101. Reactors, American Nuclear Society, 1980.
7. Rudorff, D.W., Eng. Boiler House Rev., 2, 1945. 20. Bussert, B.W., R.M. Curran and G.C. Gold, “The
8. Straub, F.G., “Steam Turbine Blade Deposits”, Effect of Water Chemistry on the Reliability of Modern
University of Illinois Bulletin, No. 59, June, 1946. Large Steam Turbines”, ASME/IEEE Joint Power
Generation Conference, Dallas, Texas, September, 1978.
9. Morey, G.W. and J.M. Hasselgesser, “The Solubility of
Quartz and Some Other Substances in Superheated 21. Jonas, O., “Turbine Steam Purity”, Southwestern
Steam at High Pressures”, Trans. ASME, Volume 73, No. Electric Exchange, Washington, D.C., April, 1978. See
7, 1951, p. 865. also Combustion, Volume 50, No. 6, 1978, pp. 11-27.
10. Coulter, E., et al., “Selective Silica Carry-over in 22. Svoboda, R. and P. Schmid, Brown Boveri Rev., 3-
Steam”, Trans. ASME, Volume 78, 1956, p. 869. 78, 1978, p. 179.
11. Styrikovich, M.A., et al., “Some Features of the 23. Babcock and Wilcox, Fossil Power Generating
Carryover of Sodium Chloride from Boiler Water into Division, “Boiler Water Requirements for Steam Purity
Steam” Teploenergetika, Volume 12, No. 9, 1965, Guarantees, for Drum Type Utility Boilers”, 2AC 2A511,
pp. 86-80. 2/10-2-74.
12. Jonas, O., A. Pebler, and R.C. Bates, Characteriza- 24. Jonas, O., “Identification and Behavior of Turbine
tion of Operational Environment for Steam Turbine- Steam Impurities”, Paper No. 124, International Corrosion
Blading Alloys, Topical Report CS-2931, EPRI, Palo Alto, Forum, National Association of Corrosion Engineers,
CA, August, 1984. See also Jonas, O., “Characterization Houston, TX, 1977.
of Steam Turbine Environment and Selection of Test 25. Peterson, S.H., et al., “Steam Purity Monitoring
Environments”, in R.I. Jaffee, ed., Corrosion Fatigue of for Turbine Corrosion Control: A Total Plant Survey”,
Steam Turbine Blade Materials, Workshop Proceedings 40th International Water Conference, Pittsburgh, PA,
held in Palo Alto, CA, September 21-24, 1981, Pergamon October, 1979.
Press, New York, NY, 1983, pp. 3-35 through 3-74.
26. Lindsay, W.T., “Behavior of Impurities in Steam
13. Styrikovich, M.A., O.I. Martynova, and L.S. Kurtova, Turbines”, Power Engineering, May, 1979, pp. 68-72.
“The Behavior of Feedwater Impurities in the Circuits of
Supercritical Units”, Teploenergetika, Volume 13, No. 7, 27. Martynova, O.I., “Transport and Concentration
1966. Processes of Steam and Water Impurities in Steam
Generating Systems”, in J. Straub and K. Scheffler, eds.,
14. Gyarmathy, G., et al., “Spontaneous Condensation of Water and Steam: Their Properties and Current Industrial
Steam at High Pressure: First Experimental Results”, Applications, Proceedings of the 9th International
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Conference on the Properties of Steam, held in Munich,
Volume 187, 1973, p. 1992. Germany, September 10-14, 1979, Pergamon Press, New
15. Rohsenov, W.M. and H.Y. Choi, Heat, Mass and York, NY, 1980, p. 547.
Momentum Transfer, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ,

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-21

28. Jaffee, R.I., ed., Corrosion Fatigue of Steam Turbine 36. Jonas, O., F. Blood, B. Connick, K. Lehner, and W.R.
Blade Materials, Workshop Proceedings held in Palo Homan, Water, Steam, and Turbine Deposit Chemistries
Alto, CA, September 21-24, 1981, Pergamon Press, New in Phosphate-Treated Drum Boiler Units, Final Report
York, NY, 1983. CS-5275, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, August, 1987.
29. Bates, R.C., J.W. Cunningham, N.E. Dowling, F.J. 37. Jonas, O., R.K. Mathur, J.K. Rice, E. Coulter, and R.
Heymann, O. Jonas, L.D. Kunsman, A.R. Pebler, V.P. Freeman, Development of a Steam Sampling System,
Swaminathan, L.E. Willertz, and T.M Rust, Corrosion Final Report TR-100196, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, December,
Fatigue of Steam Turbine-Blading Alloys in Operational 1991.
Environments, Final Report CS-2932, EPRI, Palo Alto, 38. Jonas, O., “Transport of Ionic Impurities in Fossil
CA, September, 1984. and PWR Cycles - New Observations”, Int. Water Conf.,
30. Lyle, F.F. and H.C. Burghard, Jr., Steam Turbine No. IWC-81-40, Volume 42, 1981.
Disc Cracking Experience, Volumes 1-7, Final Report 39. Rogers, L.B, Solubility of Corrosive Salts in Dry
NP-2429-LD, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, June, 1982. Steam, Final Report NP-3559, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA,
Volume 1: Literature and Field Survey June, 1984.
Volume 2: Data Summaries and Discussion
40. Allmon, W.E., et al., Deposition of Corrosive Salts
Volume 3: Stress Corrosion Cracking of Low-Alloy from Steam, Final Report NP-3002, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA,
Steels April, 1983.
Volume 4: Factors Determining Chemical Composition
41. Leibovitz, J., Model of Vaporous Carryover, Topical
of Low-Pressure Turbine Environments.
Report NP-1787, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, April, 1981.
Volume 5: Characteristics and Operating Histories of
U.S. Power Plants 42. Cobble, J.W. and P.J. Turner, PWR Advanced All-
Volume 6: Description of Turbine Rotor Models Volatile Treatment Additives, By-Products, and Boric
Acid, Final Report TR-100755, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA,
Volume 7: Metallurgical Analysis of Cracked Discs
July, 1992.
From 10 U.S. Power Plants
43. Pitzer, K.S., “Thermodynamics of Sodium Chloride
31. Jonas, O., Turbine Chemical Monitoring at ANO-1,
Solutions in Steam”, J. Phys. Chem., Volume 87, 1983.
Final Report NP-2404, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, May, 1982.
44. Gallagher, J.S. and J.M. Levelt Sengers, “Modeling
32. Hopkins, R.D., E.H. Hull, K.J. Shields, and S.
the Thermodynamic Properties of Sodium Chloride in
Yorgiadis, Guideline Manual on Instrumentation and
Steam Through Extended Corresponding States”,
Control for Fossil Plant Cycle Chemistry, Final Report
International Journal of Thermodynamics, Volume 9,
CS-5164, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, April, 1987.
Number 5, 1988.
33. Aschoff, A.F., Y.H. Lee, D.M Sopocy, and O. Jonas,
45. Steltz, W.G., et al., “The Verification of Concentrated
Interim Consensus Guidelines on Fossil Plant Cycle
Impurities in Low Pressure Steam Turbines”, J. of Eng.
Chemistry, Final Report CS-4629, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA,
for Power, Volume 105, 1983, pp. 192-198.
June, 1986.
46. Lindsay, W.T. and P.K. Lee, “Condensation of Low
34. Cycle Water Chemistry in Fossil Plants, 3 Volumes,
Volatility Impurities in Steam Turbines”, Westinghouse
Final Report CS-7556, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA.
R&D Center Report 81-1B1-DEPMO-P1, September,
Aschoff, A., D.M. Sopocy, D.T. Eglar, O. Jonas, J.K. 1981.
Rice, C.C. Stauffer, and W.E. Allmon, Volume 1:
Monitoring Results, October, 1991. 47. Svoboda, R., et al., “Volatility of Anions in Steam-
Water System of Power Plants”, BNES International
Aschoff, A.F. and O. Jonas, Volume 2: International
Conference on Water Chemistry of Nuclear Reactor
Cycle Water Chemistry Practices, December, 1992.
Systems 5, Bournemouth, UK, October, 1989.
Aschoff, A., D.M. Sopocy, D.T. Eglar, O. Jonas, J.K.
Rice, C.C. Stauffer, and W.E. Allmon, Volume 3: 48. Rottoli, M. and F. Sigon, “Low Pressure Steam Purity:
Project Conclusions and Recommendations, Behavior of the Chemical Species in Condensing
October, 1991. Steam”, Proceedings of the 49th International Water
Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, October, 1988.
35. Jonas, O. and R.B. Dooley, “International Water
Treatment Practices and Experiences”, Proceedings of 49. Vasilenko, G.V., et al., “Dependence of Turbine
the International Water Conference, Volume 51, 1990. Operational Reliability on Quality of the Initial
Condensate”, Thermal Engineering, Volume 31, Number
4, 1984, pp. 54-56.

7-22 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

50. Jonas, O., M. Roidt, and A.S. Manocha, “Dynamic 63. Gadzhiev, K.G., O.I. Martynova, Yu. F. Samoilov, and
Deposition and Solubility of Sodium Chloride in T.I. Petrova, “Pickup of Sodium Chloride from Boiling
Superheated Steam”, Proceedings of the International Water to Steam at a Pressure of 16 MPa Under Con-
Water Conference, Volume 44, 1983, pp. 174-193. ditions of Hydrazine-Ammonia Water Treatment”, Thermal
51. Cohen, P., ed., The ASME Handbook on Water Engineering, Volume 37, No. 12, 1990, pp. 666-667.
Technology for Thermal Systems, The American Society 64. Straub, J and K. Scheffler, eds., Water and Steam:
of Mechanical Engineers, New York, NY, 1989. Their Properties and Current Industrial Applications,
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the
52. Hill, P.G., “Condensation of Water Vapour During
Properties of Steam, held in Munich, Germany, Septem-
Supersonic Expansion in Nozzles”, Journal of Fluid
ber 10-14, 1979, Pergamon Press, New York, NY, 1980.
Mechanics, Volume 25, Part 3, 1966, pp. 593-620.
65. Pocock, F.J., “Understanding the Turbine Steam
53. Moses, C.A., G.D. Stein, “On the Growth of Steam
Environment”, in J. Straub and K. Scheffler, eds., Water
Droplets Formed in a Laval Nozzle Using Both Static
Pressure and Light Scattering Measurements”, Journal of and Steam: Their Properties and Current Industrial
Fluids Engineering, Volume 100, September, 1978, pp. Applications, Proceedings of the 9th International
Conference on the Properties of Steam, held in Munich,
Germany, September 10-14, 1979, Pergamon Press, New
54. Kantola, R.A., Condensation in Steam Turbines, Final York, NY, 1980, p. 563.
Report CS-2528, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, August, 1982.
66. Heitmann, H.G., “Fundamental Research in the Field
55. Dibelius, G.H., K. Mertens, R.U. Pitt, and E. Strauf, of Water Chemistry in Power Plants During the Last Years
“Investigation of Wet Steam Flow in Turbines”, IMechE and Its Demands”, J. Straub and K. Scheffler, eds.,
C271/87, 1987, pp. 135-143. Water and Steam: Their Properties and Current Industrial
56. Simonson, J.M. and D.A. Palmer, “Distribution of Applications, Proceedings of the 9th International
Ammonium Salts Between Liquid and Steam at High Conference on the Properties of Steam, held in Munich,
Temperatures”, ”, in B. Dooley and A. Bursik, eds., Germany, September 10-14, 1979, Pergamon Press, New
Interaction of Iron-Based Materials with Water and Steam, York, NY, 1980, p. 533.
Proceedings of an International Conference held in 67. Jonas, O., “Characterization of Steam Turbine
Heidelberg, Germany, June 3-5, 1992, Report TR- Environment and Selection of Test Environments”, in R.I.
102101, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, 1992, pp. 4-1 through 4-15. Jaffee, ed., Corrosion Fatigue of Steam Turbine Blade
57. Palmer, D.A. and J.M. Simonson, Behavior of Materials, Workshop Proceedings held in Palo Alto, CA,
Ammonium Salts in Steam Cycles, Final Report TR- September 21-24, 1981, Pergamon Press, New York, NY,
102377, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, December, 1993. 1983, pp. 3-35 through 3-74.

58. Jonas, O. and N.F. Rieger, Turbine Steam, Chemistry, 68. Palmer, D.A. and J.M. Simonson, Assessment of the
and Corrosion, Final Report TR-103738, EPRI, Palo Alto, Ray Diagram, Final Report TR-106017, EPRI, Palo Alto,
CA, August, 1994. CA, August, 1996.

59. Jonas, Inc., et al., Turbine Steam, Chemistry, and 69. Dooley, R.B., M. Ball, A. Bursik, O. Jonas, F.J.
Corrosion Volume 1: Key Results, Summary, and Pocock, and J.K. Rice, Selection and Optimization of
Interpretation; Volume 2: Individual Contributions of Boiler Water and Feedwater Treatments for Fossil Plants,
Participants, Final Report TR-108184, EPRI, Palo Alto, Final Report TR-105040, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, April, 1996.
CA, 1999. 70. Dooley, R.B., A.F. Aschoff, and F. J. Pocock, Cycle
60. Dooley, R.B. and A. Bursik, “State of the Art in Fossil Chemistry Guidelines for Fossil Plants: All-Volatile
Plant Cycle Chemistry”, 12th International Conference on Treatment, Final Report TR-105041, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA,
Water and Steam, held in Orlando, FL, September, 1994, April, 1996.
Begel House, “Physical Chemistry of Aqueous Systems”. 71. Hicks, J.A., N.J. Mravich, and F.J. Pocock, “Nuclear
61. Ulmer, R.C. and H.A. Klein, “Impurities in Steam Steam Supply System Water Chemistry Research”,
from High Pressure Boilers”, Proceedings ASTM, Proceedings of the American Power Conference, Volume
Volume 61, 1961. 33, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, 1971.

62. Goodstine, S.L., “Vaporous Carryover of Sodium

Salts in High Pressure Steam”, Proceedings of the
American Power Conference, Illinois Institute of Tech-
nology, Volume 36 Chicago, IL, April, 1974, pp. 784-789.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-23

72. Central Electricity Generating Board, Generation 82. Whirl, S.F. and T.E. Purcell, “Protection Against
Operation Memorandum (GOM) 72: Part 1 - Introduction Caustic Embrittlement by Coordinated Phosphate-pH
and General Aspects of Chemical Control of the Steam Control”, Proceedings of the Water Conference,
Water Circuit, Issue 5, April, 1983. Part 2 - Chemical Pittsburgh, PA, 1942.
Control of the Steam Water Circuit of Drum-Type Boilers, 83. Klein, H.A., J.A. Lux, W.L. Riedal, D.E. Noll, and H.
Issue 6, September 1985. Part 4 - Sampling, Analysis, Phillips, “A Field Survey of Internal Boiler Tube Corrosion
Instrumentation and Chemical Dosing, Issue 5, in High Pressure Boilers”, American Power Conference,
September, 1983. Chicago, Illinois, April, 1971.
73. VGB, “VGB Guidelines for Boiler Feedwater, Boiler 84. Tremaine, P.R., L.G.S. Gray, B. B. Wiwchar, and J.
Water, and Steam of Generators Exceeding 68 bar Stodola, Sodium Phosphate Chemistry Under High
Tolerated Operating Pressure” (in German) VGB Pressure Utility Drum-Boiler Conditions, Volumes 1
Technische Vereinigung der Grosskraftwerksbetreiber, through 3, Project 913 G730, Canadian Electric
e.V. VGB-R 450 L, Essen, 1988. See also A. Bursik, Association, October, 1992.
“VGB Guidelines on Boiler Feedwater, Boiler Water and
Steam of Water-Tube Boilers”, IWC-84, #116, presented 85. Stodola, J., “Review of Boiler Water Alkalinity
at the 45th Annual Meeting of the International Water Control”, International Water Conference, 47th Annual
Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, October 22-24, 1984. Meeting, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 27-
29, 1986.
74. Japanese Industrial Standard JIS B 8223-1977,
Water Conditioning for Boiler Feed Water and Boiler 86. Dooley, R.B., J. Mathews, R. Pate, and J. Taylor,
Water, Japanese Standards Association, 1977. “Optimum Chemistry for ‘All-Ferrous’ Feedwater
Systems: Why Use an Oxygen Scavenger?”,
75. Technical Guidelines for Operation of Power Plants Proceedings of the 55th International Water Conference,
and Networks. One of the first editions dates back to Pittsburgh, PA, October 31-November 2, 1994.
1950; the most recent, the 15th was issued in 1995.
87. Chexal, B., J. Horowitz, B. Dooley, R. Jones, C.
76. Dooley, R.B., B. Larkin, L. Webb, A. Bursik, I. Oliker, Wood, M. Bouchacourt, F. Remy, F. Nordmann, and P. St.
and F. Pocock, “Oxygenated Treatment for Fossil Plants”, Paul, Flow-Accelerated Corrosion in Power Plants, Final
Paper IWC-92-16, Proceedings of the 53rd International Report TR-106611R1, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, 1998.
Water Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, October, 1992.
88. Zimmermann, M., “A New Technique for Chemically
77. Bursik, A., B. Dooley, and B. Larkin, Guidelines for Degassing Boiler Feedwater”, Mitteilungen der VGB, No.
Oxygenated Treatment for Fossil Plants, Final Report TR- 2/3, 1948, pp. 70-73.
102285, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, December, 1994.
89. Zimmermann, M., “Practical Works Experience
78. Ball, M., Sodium Hydroxide for Conditioning the Concerning the Deoxygenation of Boiler Feedwater and
Boiler Water of Drum-Type Boilers, Research Project Hydrazine”, in Hydrazine and Water Treatment:
9000-20, Final Report TR-104007, EPRI, Palo Alto, Proceedings of an International Conference, held at
California, January, 1995. See also Ball, M., “Caustic Bournemouth, England, May, 1957, Whiffen and Sons,
Treatment for Drum Boilers”, Fourth International January, 1958.
Conference on Cycle Chemistry in Fossil Boilers, held in
Atlanta, Georgia, September 7-9, 1994. 90. Hydrazine and Water Treatment: Proceedings of an
International Conference, held at Bournemouth, England,
79. Dooley, R.B., A. Aschoff, and F. Pocock, Cycle May, 1957, Whiffen and Sons, January, 1958.
Chemistry Guidelines for Fossil Plants: Phosphate
Treatment for Drum Units, Final Report TR-103665, EPRI, 91. Fiss, E.C., “Experience with the Use of Hydrazine
Palo Alto, CA, December, 1994. as an Oxygen Scavenger in High Pressure Boilers”,
Proceedings of the American Power Conference,
80. Dooley, B., “Developing the Optimum Boiler Water Volume XVI, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL.,
and Feedwater Treatment for Fossil Plants”, International March 24-26, 1954.
Conference on Power Plant Chemical Technology, held in
Kolding, Denmark, September 4-6, 1996. 92. Stones, W.F., “Experiences with Hydrazine as a
Chemical Deoxidant in High Pressure Boilers”, in
81. Dooley, R.B., “The Cutting Edge of Cycle Chemistry Hydrazine and Water Treatment: Proceedings of an
for Fossil Plants”, IWC-96-37, 1996. International Conference, held at Bournemouth, England,
May, 1957, Whiffen and Sons, January, 1958, pp. 77-97.

7-24 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine

93. “Organic Conditioning Agents and Oxygen 98. Riess, R., and P. Millett, “State of the Art in Nuclear
Scavengers”, VGB Conference at Lahnstein, March, 1994. Plant Cycle Chemistry” in H.J. White, Jr., J.V. Sengers,
D.B. Neumann, and J.C. Bellows, ed., Physical
94. Filer, S., “Plant Chemistry Measurement
Advancements: Oxidation Reduction Potential”, Ultrapure Chemistry of Aqueous Systems: Meeting the Needs of
Water, November, 1998, pp. 53-62. Industry, Proceedings of the 12th International
Conference on the Properties of Water and Steam, Begell
95. Dooley, R.B., A. Bursik, O. Jonas, F. Pocock, and J. House, New York, NY, 1995, pp. 48-65.
Rice, “Perspective and Vision of Cycle Chemistry for
99. Dooley, R.B., A. Aschoff, M. Ball, A. Bursik, O.
Fossil Plants”, in R.B. Dooley, ed., Proceedings
Jonas, and F. Pocock, Cycling, Startup, Shutdown, and
International Conference on Fossil Plant Cycle Chemistry,
held in Baltimore, Maryland, June 4-6, 1991, Report TR- Layup Fossil Plant Cycle Chemistry Guidelines for
100195, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, December, 1991, pp. I-1 Operators and Chemists, Final Report TR-107754, EPRI,
Palo Alto, CA, October, 1998.
through I-22.
100. Twigg, R.J., “Mothballing - The Impossible
96. Brown, J., and R.E. Massey, “Condensate,
Solution?”, in Proceedings: Fossil Plant Layup and
Feedwater, Steam Sampling, and Analysis in Ontario
Hydro Thermal Generating Stations”, 41st International Reactivation Conference, held in New Orleans, LA, April
14-15, 1992, TR-101250, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, 1992, pp.
Water Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, 1980, pp. 151-155.
1-5 through 1-23.
97. Bates, A.J., G.J. Bignold, K. Garbett, W.R.
101. Procedure Instructions on Layup of Power
Middleton, D. Penfold, K. Tittle and I.S. Woolsey, “The
Generating Equipment with Filming Amines, Amendment
Central Electricity Generating Board Single-Phase
to RD 43.20.521-97, Moscow, 1998.
Erosion-Corrosion Research Programme”, Nuclear
Energy, No. 6, December, 1986, pp. 361-370. 102. Griffin, D.B. and H.D. Thomas, “Fossil Plant Layup
and Unanticipated Reactivation”, in Proceedings: Fossil
Plant Layup and Reactivation Conference, held in New
Orleans, LA, April 14-15, 1992, TR-101250, EPRI, Palo
Alto, CA, 1992, pp. 3-43 through 3-54.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 7-25

7-26 Steam Chemistry and the Turbine
Chapter 8 • Volume 1

Impurities in the Turbine:

Condensation, Droplet
and Liquid Film Formation,
and Deposition

8.1. Introduction The formation of droplets is impor-

This chapter examines what hap- tant as they can have a significant
pens to impurities that are trans- effect on unit performance. The
ported to the turbine including phe- droplet size of condensate is one of
nomena such as the nucleation of the basic parameters that deter-
droplets, formation of liquid films, mines the energy loss in a turbine
and concentration of impurities as (wetness/braking loss). An increase
deposits. Understanding these in loss with wet steam flow is due to
processes, illustrated schematically (i) an increase in the friction loss in
in Figure 8-1, is central to prevent- the liquid film and boundary layer
ing many of the most serious turbine consisting of steam and droplets,
damage mechanisms. (ii) the energy loss of the steam flow
caused by the acceleration of liquid
Even though the basic principles of
droplets, and (iii) breakup of the film
operation and the environmental
which separates from the blade trail-
constraints on turbines have been
ing edges with vortices. All these
known for decades, it is only
result in high energy loss; the larger
recently that the local environment
the droplet size, the greater the loss.
in working turbines has begun to be
fully characterized. Although all of Significant financial benefits could
the needed theoretical underpin- be achieved if nucleation and the
nings are not yet in place, signifi- location of the phase transition zone
cant experimental progress has (PTZ) could be delayed in the tur-
been recently made. It is now pos- bine, or alternatively if a means to
sible, for example, to determine and decrease droplet size and/or film
monitor (as a function of inlet steam thickness could be found. There
composition): (i) the moisture and are additional motivations for under-
droplet size between turbine stages, standing nucleation and the subse-
(ii) the composition of these droplets quent formation of moisture droplets
(“first” or “early” condensate), (iii) and of liquid films. Even “pure”
the thickness, composition, and steam in the form of moisture has
charge (potential) of liquid films on two detrimental effects: it can
blades, and (iv) the composition of decrease overall thermal efficiency
deposits formed. through mechanical and thermody-
namic losses, and can lead to
erosion of LP blades.

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 8-1

ation seeds can be provided by the
a) Volatility/Partitioning of Impurities in the Cycle precipitation and condensation of
steam impurities or the oxides trans-
Boiler Condensation. Evaporation. ported to the turbine from other
water Steam Liquid films
parts of the cycle. Table 8-1 shows
Steam Liquid droplets Deposits characteristic sources for nucleation
seeds in a 16.55 MPa (2400 psi)
fossil drum boiler cycle. Results
b) Steam Turbine Phase Transition Zone from recent research have shown
the presence of particles even in
Liquid Deposit units with very clean steam. Particle
LP Steam + Early
Nucleation films on formation. sizes range from 300 angstroms to
impurities condensate
blades Evaporation
100 microns with a typical particle
density over 107 per mm2. 3
The resulting droplets are of wide
ranging interest in the analysis of
Figure 8-1. a). Impurities go through three phase transitions as they proceed around turbine damage, particularly for cor-
the cycle. b). The process of condensation, liquid film formation and deposition occur
in the phase transition zone.
rosion, flow-accelerated corrosion
and moisture effects. Steam impuri-
ties concentrate in the initial droplets
This chapter follows the flow outlined with a discussion of methods to col-
that form. Further concentration
in Figure 8-1. It begins with discus- lect and analyze turbine deposits
occurs when the droplets form thin
sions of moisture nucleation (Section (Section 8.8), knowledge that may
liquid films on steam path surfaces.
8.2), the effect of chemistry on be useful for diagnosing a variety of
Final concentration occurs via the
nucleation (Section 8.3), the forma- damage mechanisms.
interaction of the liquid films formed
tion and composition of early con-
and surface oxides, and most
densate (Section 8.4), and liquid film 8.2 Moisture Nucleation importantly by evaporation on
formation (Section 8.5). These
The condensation of water vapor drying surfaces.
events eventually lead to deposition
has been under active investigation In the PTZ, steam condensation
on blade surfaces (Section 8.6), and
since work by Wilson in 1897.1 occurs simultaneously and interac-
subsequently to various blade dam-
Water droplets form around nucle- tively by four alternative mecha-
age mechanisms. Section 8.7 dis-
ation centers during the continued nisms: (i) spontaneous condensation
cusses the effect of electrostatic
expansion of steam through the dry- in the flow core and slanting shear,
charges in the turbine. Section 8.8
wet transition. There is no lack of (ii) turbulent condensation in local
summarizes impurity concentration
potential nucleation seeds; nucle- zones, (iii) condensation in vortices
and deposition. The chapter ends

Table 8-1
Sources of Nucleation Seeds in a 16.55 MPa (2400 psi) Fossil Drum Boiler Cycle
Chemical Characteristics Size Range1 Number of Seeds Range of Concentrations1
Source of Nucleation Seed (µm) per kg of Steam1 (ppb)

Boiler Carry-over Na2PO4, NaCl, Na2SO4,

Mechanical 0.1% SiO2, NH3, HCl, NaOH, 0.05 - 0.5 108 - 109 10 - 200
Vaporous Fe3O4, (CuO), etc. 10-3 - 10-1 1011 - 1013 10 - 200

Attemperation/Feedwater NH3, Fe(II), Fe(III), 10-3 - 0.5 1010 - 1011 10 - 100

resin fines, (Cu2O)

Exfoliation in SH and RH Fe3O4, (Cu2O) 0.1 - 1000 105 - 109 10 - 104

1In steam
Source: O. Jonas 2

8-2 Impurities in the Turbine

downstream of blade trailing edges, achieved the nuclei can have stable an avalanche of precipitation will
and (iv) heterogeneous condensa- existence and grow by accretion. occur immediately at crossover pipe
tion on impurities and salts. This The critical size, as determined conditions (if it has not already
makes the steam expansion process from classical nucleation theory is occurred in the IP turbine); that is,
in the turbine through the saturation a function of temperature (T ), the supersaturation will be completely
line close to equilibrium. amount of supersaturation, the eliminated and NaOH will deposit on
surface tension (ϕT ), and molecular the cross-over piping and on the LP
The initial condensation can be
volume (υ) of the condensed phase turbine internal surfaces near the
homogenous or heterogeneous.
according to 7: inlet. In contrast, the low nucleation
Homogeneous condensation or
rate for solid NaCl will not produce
nucleation involves a single, liquid p  2 2ϕT1/2 ν

IF = a* exp precipitation in the LP despite
phase; heterogeneous condensation kbT √2 π m* 
 
increasing supersaturation because
or nucleation occurs when a solid
of the very short transit times.
phase oxide or salt particle is 
involved.  16π ϕT  3 ν  2
   After the formation of a critically
 3 k T lnS 
   (8-1)
Much of the literature involves  b s sized droplet, subsequent growth is
governed by the difference between
homogeneous condensation and is
where: the competing effects of the contin-
derived from such disciplines as
ued addition of mass and the evap-
cloud physics and chemical engi-
IF = the Frenkel8 rate of formation oration of vapor. Droplet growth
neering. There are somewhat fewer
of critical size nuclei, number curves from condensation in two
studies of homogeneous condensa-
per sec-cm3 types of “pure” water and deminer-
tion specifically in turbine stages,
a* = condensation coefficient, alized water are shown in Figures
and of even more interest, of hetero-
assumed to be unity without 8-2a-c.10 Superheat of 11.1°C
geneous condensation in steam tur-
information to the contrary (20°F) was used with a variety of
bines. Nevertheless, there have
been some studies pertinent to p = partial pressure in the gas initial pressures. Droplet size
steam turbines. For example an phase increased with decreasing pressure,
acknowledgment of the effects of T = temperature, °K trending toward a plateau in the
heterogeneous condensation in kb = Boltzman constant case of the demineralized water
steam turbines, but without chem- ϕT = surface energy per unit area (Figure 8-2c).
istry specifics was provided in early or surface tension of the The growth rate of nuclei from criti-
work by Hill4 and by Dibelius, et al. 5 condensed material cal size to larger droplets can be
m* = molecular mass of the estimated from:
Only recently6 has a model of steam condensed material
flow through an LP turbine cascade a*pν
Ss = supersaturation (ratio of r= (8-2)
incorporating steam chemistry con- (2πm*kbT )1/2
pressure to saturation partial
siderations been able to identify
pressure at a given steam where:
such factors as: (i) the range of
changing salt solubility, (ii) areas of r = radius of the spherical droplet
bulk flows, and (iii) the surfaces a* = condensation coefficient,
where salts, acids, and hydroxides One means of determining the sig-
nificance of such calculations is to assumed to be unity without
can form highly concentrated aque- information to the contrary
ous solutions. The results of that look at what they imply about the
precipitation of various impurities p = partial pressure in the gas
modeling effort provide good corre- phase
lation with field observations of from steam. Jonas and Rieger9
provide an example comparing the ν = molecular volume
blade deposits and corrosion, and m* = molecular mass of the
with the results of converging- effects of contamination by sodium
hydroxide with that by sodium chlo- condensed material
diverging nozzle studies. kb = Boltzman constant
ride, each to a level of 100 ppb Na.
In homogeneous condensation, sub- Equation 8-1 indicates a nucleation T = temperature, °K
critical nuclei are considered to be rate of 1.3 x 1015 sec-1cm-3 for the
constantly forming and dispersing. The equation presumes linear
NaOH solution and 6.3 x 107
However, once the critical size is growth that proceeds by accretion.
sec-1cm-3 for crystalline NaCl. The
high nucleation rate of NaOH means

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 8-3

Equations 8-1 and 8-2 can be used
P0 = 26.5 psia Initial to model various contamination sce-
T0 = 265°F }
condition narios using a knowledge of temper-
λ2 = 632.8 nm ature, pressure, and time for a par-
λ1 = 457.9 nm
. }
ticular turbine.9
P0 = 35.7 psia
} Initial
p/p = 332 s-1
P = 11.1 psia At onset
x = 3.75%
T0 = 285°F
λ2 = 632.8 nm

} Attenuation
Heterogeneous condensation is
entirely different. In this case, nucle-
Average of 50 samples λ1 = 457.9 nm ation sites abound on oxidized sur-
1.2 Average of 100 samples Average of 100 points faces, salt surfaces, and other parti-
cles, and exposure times are very
large (steady state exposure of
Diameter (µm)

these surfaces) in contrast to the

time available in homogeneous con-
densation (the steam transit time). It
has been suggested that heteroge-
0.6 neous condensation processes are
Triple distilled water Triple distilled water
probably diffusion controlled.9
0.4 2 laser setup 2 laser setup
`A´ `B´ The challenge in evaluating hetero-
0.2 geneous condensation is to calcu-
Onset late the rate of growth of deposits
which, it is assumed, nucleate with-
0 100 200 300 400 500 0 100 200 300 400 500 out difficulty.9 A rule of thumb esti-
Time (µs) Time (µs) mate of such growth rates can be
obtained from:
50 samples P0 = 23.5 psia Initial
25 samples T0 = 250°F condition} •
m1 =1/2 Cƒ V (Sc)-2/3 (C∞– Cο)
12 1.2
.Pp/p= =11.1
10 1.0
Pressure psia
410 s-1

x = 3.35% wetness
{ Onset

Droplet diameter m1 = the mass flux of impurity
Droplet Diameter (µm)

8 0.8 toward the surface

Pressure (psia)

Cƒ = skin friction coefficient

Equilibrium Wetness (%)

V = velocity
6 0.6 5 Sc = Schmidt number
dr/dt = 1.8 mm/s Wetness
C∞ = the impurity concentration in
4 0.4 the bulk fluid
Cο = the impurity concentration in
gas that is in equilibrium with
2 0.2 Demineralized water the condensed phase at the
2 laser setup 3
`C´ surface.
0 0 As an example, at a velocity of 305
0 200 400 600 m/sec (1000 ft/sec) and a concen-
Time (µs) tration difference corresponding to
10 ppb NaCl, the growth rate would
be about 0.4 µg/cm2 – hr or about
Figure 8-2. Results of condensation tests with two types of pure water. 200 Å/hr increase of film thickness,
[(T °F - 32)/1.8 = °C; psi x 6.895 = kPa]. Source: R.A. Kantola10 a rate consistent with indirect mea-
surements (via conductance) of film
thickness in operating turbines.9

8-4 Impurities in the Turbine

ing turbines, although it can be and
Moisture, % has been observed in Laval and
1.60 other nozzle tests. As a result it is
suggested that in operating tur-
1.40 bines, this region should be
renamed the Phase Transition Zone
(PTZ) and that it encompass the
1.00 region from before the saturation line
to about 4-5% moisture on the
0.80 Mollier diagram.

0.60 Nucleation and droplet formation is

still a topic of active investigation.
0.40 Key questions currently being
Droplet Radius, µm
addressed include:
0.13 • Does nucleation follow from het-
erogeneous causes?
0.11 • Are impurities negligible in rela-
tion to homogeneous nucleation?

• What is the effect of expansion
rate on nucleation in steam? As
the expansion rate decreases,
0.07 there are fewer larger droplets.11
Further as the expansion rate
increases there are a large num-
0.05 ber of small droplets in the region
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
Relative Blade Length up to about 4% moisture. Note
Root Tip that the gross expansion rate in
fossil units (650-900/sec) is
greater than in nuclear units (400-
Figure 8-3. Moisture and droplet radius measurements along the length of the blade 600/sec), thus smaller droplets
in a model turbine as a function of different inlet steam conditions. Symbols represent tend to be formed. Finally, as the
different chemistries. Source: R.B. Dooley, L.A. Feldberg, V.I. Kashinsky, O.I. pressure at points within the PTZ
Martynova, A. Yu Petrov, T.I. Petrova, S.A. Popov, V.N. Semenov, and A.N. Troitsky12
increases the droplet density
increases. Despite these qualita-
It is generally felt that both types of Figure 8-3 show measurements in a tive observations, there remains a
nucleation are simultaneously occur- model turbine indicating that both significant challenge to fully char-
ring and that particular circum- moisture percentage and droplet acterize the effect of expansion
stances determine which type of size decrease from the root to the tip on nucleation.
nucleation dominates. For example, along a given blade. Droplet sizes • What is the electrical charge on
heterogeneous nucleation is more and moisture level were measured individual droplets and the
predominant during unit startup.9 using the laser probe shown in charge density of the “fog” (see
Figure 8-4. Using this instrument,
Droplet size and moisture levels Section 8.7)?
light scattering is used for droplet
have now been extensively mea-
size; light attenuation is used for • What are the effects of major
sured. Under operating conditions
determining moisture levels. chemical additions and impurities
in turbines, droplets of moisture along the flowpath on droplet
have now been measured below Spontaneous condensation to size, nucleation concentration,
average moisture levels of 1%. The relieve supersaturation (historically charge and charge density of the
droplets that form range in size from referred to as the Wilson line or
0.05 to 0.13 µm. The examples in zone) has not been seen in operat-

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 8-5

• In model turbine tests increased
droplet radii were observed with
1000 V higher ammonia levels in phos-
J0 phate treatment compared with
Power supply Power supply lower ammonia levels in oxy-
220 V 220 V
unit of laser unit of PM
genated treatment (OT). The
800 V droplet radius decreased slightly
(0.12 - 0.11 mm) with addition of
multiplier (PM) 2.5 ppm of octadecylamine
(ODA). No effect was observed
J J1 J2 J3
on the droplet size with small
I I1 I2 I3
additions of NaCl and Na2SO4
for the phosphate or OT treat-
J3 ments.12
• Droplet nucleation in steam with
volatile impurities is expected to
Droplet path be a homogeneous process; with
Interface low volatility impurities, a mixed
J J1 J2 process is expected to
dominate.13 Thus, it may be that
IBM PC homogeneous condensation of
impurities is important only in
major steam contamination events
such as caustic carryover from
condensate polisher malfunction9,
or major condenser leakage.
Heterogeneous condensation,
however, is probably significant
for a range of impurity levels as
these processes can produce
wetted solid deposits and films of
impurity concentrates either of
which produce corrosive surface
Figure 8-4. Laser probe for droplet and moisture measurement using light scattering
and attenuation. Source: R.B. Dooley, L.A. Feldberg, V.I. Kashinsky, O.I. Martynova,
A. Yu Petrov, T.I. Petrova, S.A. Popov, V.N. Semenov, and A.N. Troitsky12

8.3 Effect of Chemistry on 2.0 x 103 sec-1) in a converging-

Nucleation diverging nozzle indicated that
The effect of specific chemical the droplet size is increased by
species on droplet nucleation has additions of trisodium phosphate,
recently been investigated and has sodium chloride, and ammonium
indicated: chloride compared to pure steam.
Ammonium hydroxide, morpho-
• The effect of chemical additives
line, ethanolamine (ETA), helium,
and impurities at two rates of
oxygen, and nitrogen appear to
steam expansion, (p = 1/p •
have no effect.3
dp/dt) = 4.5 x 103 sec-1 and

8-6 Impurities in the Turbine

8.4 The Early Condensate concentrate in the early concentrate, level higher than sulfate, and that
As discussed above, first condensa- and how they increase with decreas- the level of NH3 remains fairly con-
tion in actual turbines occurs just ing moisture. These effects are illus- stant across the moisture range
after the saturation line. Between trated in Figure 8-7 for chloride, sul- because of its high volatility; that is
blade surfaces, very fine droplets fate, and ammonia. It should be the ammonia stays in steam and
(< 0.1 µm) have formed by about noted that chloride concentrates to a does not concentrate in the liquid.
the 1% moisture line. In bulk flow,
larger droplets (5 µm) have formed
by about the 2% moisture line.9
The composition of these droplets,
known as “early” or “first” conden- Turbine case
sate, can be measured internally,
Figure 8-5, or externally, Figure 8-6,
to the turbine steam path. The
internal measurement is taken
between rotating and stationary
rows. The external method extracts
superheated steam as it enters the
LP turbine.14 Both methods have
recently been found to show
remarkable agreement.3
Impurity levels in early condensate
have been measured by a number Separator
of investigators14-23 Svoboda14 was
the first to show how the impurities Early condensate Turbine Turbine
probe flowpath

Early condensate
sampling vessel

Figure 8-5. Internal early condensate sampling system. Source: R.B. Dooley, L.A.
Moisture Feldberg, V.I. Kashinsky, O.I. Martynova, A. Yu Petrov, T.I. Petrova, S.A. Popov, V.N.
separator Semenov, and A.N. Troitsky12

ppb Cl/SO4 ppb NH3

30 120

25 Cl 100

20 80

15 60
10 40
inlet 5 20

0 0
0 10 20 30 40
Sample Moisture (%)
Injection water

Figure 8-7. Comparison of chemical species in early conden-

Figure 8-6. External early condensate sate versus moisture. Source: R. Svoboda, H. Sandmann, S.
sampler. Source: R. Svoboda14 Romanelli, and M. Bodmer14

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 8-7

Table 8-2 Impurity levels in early condensate,
Typical Early Condensate specifically the differences in the
concentration ratios of chloride and
Parameter Inlet Steam Blade End Blade Middle Blade Root
sulfate, have been measured for a
pH 9.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 number of units using both oxy-
genated treatment and all-volatile
Conductivity (µS/cm) 0.2 2.3 1.7 1.6
treatment.18,22,23 Typical results pro-
SiO2 (ppb) 10 275 70 65 duced in a model turbine are shown
NH3 (ppb) 590 550 460 450 in Figure 8-8 for chloride. A similar
Cl (ppb) 6 41 40 34 result has been obtained for sulfate.
This figure indicates that AVT (data
Source: G. V. Vasilenko and G.P. Sutotsky 22 coincident with phosphate results)
and phosphate treatments produce
the highest concentration ratios for
Cl in the EC, ppb chloride in the early condensate.
There is essentially no difference
200 Na: PO4 3:1
between treating the boiler with
Na3PO4 (Na:PO4 molar ratio of 3.0)
Na: PO4 3:1+ ODA or Na2HPO4 (Na:PO4 molar ratio of
120 2.6). The feedwater pH for the
Na: PO4 3:1 phosphate and AVT tests was
80 Na: PO4 3:1+ ODA around 9.2.
40 Oxygenated treatment (at oxygen
0 levels around 150 ppb with feedwa-
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 ter and steam pHs of around 8.0)
Cl in the Turbine Inlet Steam, ppb however, produces a much lower
concentration ratio for both species.
The addition of octadecylamine
Figure 8-8. Chloride content in the early condensate versus (ODA) to the steam from a boiler
level of chloride in the turbine inlet steam. Samples were treated with phosphate (feedwater
taken at the mid-section of the blade height. NA means no
addition to the cycle chemistry. Source: R.B. Dooley, L.A. pH of around 9.2) also produces a
Feldberg, V.I. Kashinsky, O.I. Martynova, A. Yu Petrov, T.I. lower concentration of chloride in
Petrova, S.A. Popov, V.N. Semenov, and A.N. Troitsky12 the early condensate, but not as low
as with OT.
All measurements show increased One of the most important observa- Finally, in all conditions (and all
concentration of steam impurities in tions is that oxygen does not con- chemistries) meeting the applicable
the condensate formed. The con- centrate in the early condensate: steam purity guidelines for fossil
centration ratio of impurities in the levels in the early condensate are plants (see Table 7-2), impurities in
early condensate compared to the < 1 ppb for turbine steam inlet levels the early condensate are not, by
inlet steam for sodium, chloride and of oxygen in the range of 30-250 themselves, at a level that would
sulfate ranges from 2-150 times. ppb. It is also known from BWR cause corrosion. This clearly sug-
The moisture is typically found to be plants with 20,000 ppb of oxygen in gests that the reduction of reliability
acidified, with pH decreasing by at the steam that only 2-3 ppb are in of LP rotating blades and discs is
least a unit and cation conductivity the moisture separator drains. With caused by the formation of liquid
increasing by an order of magni- falling pressure in the LP turbine, films with corrosive impurities and
tude. Typical early condensate even smaller oxygen concentrations their subsequent evaporation, and/or
data, measured by Vasilenko, shown are to be expected in the early con- by deposition of concentrated salts
in Table 8-2 illustrates these trends. densate.24 as a result of precipitation.

8-8 Impurities in the Turbine

8.5 Liquid Film Formation
Liquid films start to form on the sta- Chloride in EC and LF, ppb
tionary and rotating blade surfaces 10000
in the steam expansion region where
there are fine droplets (< 1 µm). Film
formation is thought to occur mostly 1000
by diffusion and by the action of tur-
bulent pulsations because these fine
droplets should follow the stream 100
lines. Larger droplets (> 1 µm) have
trajectories that do not follow stream
lines and as a result liquid films are 10 EC-PT LF-II - PT LF-III - PT
formed by inertial forces and EC-OT LF-II - OT LF-III - OT
impaction. The film flows have a Power fit (EC-PT) Power fit (LF-II - PT) Power fit (LF-III - PT)
Power fit (EC-OT) Power fit (LF-II - OT) Power fit (LF-III - OT)
major influence on energy losses,
and their release on the erosion of 0 10 20 30 40 50
the rotating blades (Chapter 27).
Chloride inTurbine Inlet Steam, ppb
Liquid films have been observed
prior to the saturation line which may
be related to the “salt zone”.25-27 Figure 8-9. Comparison of chloride levels in early condensate (EC) and liquid films at
For example, unstable liquid films two locations (LF-II, LF-III) for oxygenated treatment (OT) and phosphate treatment
up to 20 µm thick can be detected (PT). Source: T.I. Petrova28
even in regions where there is 10°K
of superheat, and at initial moisture shows the measured level of chlo- (typically 8.5-9.3 depending on
content of around 1% or less. In ride in the early condensate for the chemistry).
these regions, the films formed oxygenated and phosphate treat- Liquid films have been identified
are incomplete and often have a ment (similar to the results shown prior to the saturation line but
“streaked” appearance. Stable films in Figure 8-8). It also shows the have not yet been analyzed.29
up to 90 µm thick can be formed on concentrations of chloride for two They are expected to be even
the surfaces where the moisture is sampling locations for the liquid more concentrated.
above 1%. films, designated LF-II and LF-III.
The results show that28: • The flow of films off the blade
Liquid films that form on blades as trailing edges result in large
a result of any of these mechanisms (i) The concentration of core fac- droplets (around 100 µm); these
are of considerable interest for sev- tors such as chloride in the liquid are involved with liquid droplet
eral reasons: films is at least ten times greater erosion or flow-accelerated corro-
than in the early condensate. sion (Chapters 27 and 29).
• The liquid films are responsible
for supplying the dynamic envi- (ii) There is a non-linear relation- • The presence of liquid films on
ronment for corrosion fatigue and ship between the level of chloride the blades (as with droplet pres-
stress corrosion cracking mecha- in the turbine inlet steam and in ence), and particularly the flow
nisms (Chapters 24, 25, and 26). the liquid films. off the blade, results in significant
• The films act to further concen- (iii) Oxygenated treatment loss of turbine efficiency.
trate impurities over and above produces lower concentrations • The liquid films have an electrical
the concentration levels in the of chloride in the liquid films charge (potential). See Section
early condensate. Thin films have when compared to phosphate 8.7.
the highest level of concentration, treatment.
thicker films are more dilute. Improved understanding of the
It was also found that the pH of mechanics of film formation will
Concentration levels in liquid films the liquid films (typically found to
have been measured using a enable these deleterious effects to
be in the range 6.1-6.4 in the be mitigated.
model turbine.28 Figure 8-9 liquid films depending on the
chemistry evaluated) is lower
than the pH of the inlet steam

Volume 1: Turbine Fundamentals 8-9

Film flow patterns are complex.
Liquid films of various shapes Relative Film Thickness
(lenses, jets, liquid spots, and con- 1.0
tinuous films) are formed on the sur- Film Thickness No impurities
face of rotating and stationary 0.8 NaCl
blades in the phase transition region Na2SO4
at moisture levels below 1%. The 0.6
thicknesses can vary from 0 up to
100-120 µm depending on blade
location. The shape and thickness
of the liquid film is determined by a
number of parameters: wetting 0.2
angle, heat flux (evaporation),
droplet precipitation, saturation tem- 0
perature, and impurity concentra- PT NA OT
tion. As the film changes composi-
tion by the addition of droplets and
by evaporation, the surface tension Figure 8-10. Relative film thickness on the nozzle blade versus
of the liquid changes. When the film chemistry and level of impurities. Source: R.B. Dooley, L.A.
becomes thinner as a result of evap- Feldberg, V.I. Kashinsky, O.I. Martynova, A. Yu Petrov, T.I. Petrova,
S.A. Popov, V.N. Semenov, and A.N. Troitsky12
oration, the concentration of salts
There is also an effect of steam
Relative Film Thickness
chemistry. Figure 8-10 shows the
effect of three chemistries and vari-
ous impurities on relative film thick- 1.4
ness for a constant blade location. 1.3
The film thickness formed from
steam from a phosphate treated 1.2
boiler with feedwater of around pH 1.1
9.2 is around 100 µm. The same <30 ppb Cl
result is observed for AVT. Without 1.0 80-100 ppb Cl
any addition of ammonia to the feed- 0.9
water (pH 7.4) or any addition to the 0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0
steam (NA), the film thickness ODA Content, ppm
decreases by around 80%. The
addition of oxygen to the steam (150
ppb), with feedwater pH of around Figure 8-11. Relative film thickness versus initial ODA level in
steam. Source: R.B. Dooley, L.A. Feldberg, V.I. Kashinsky, O.I.
8.0, makes very little difference to
Martynova, A. Yu Petrov, T.I. Petrova, S.A. Popov, V.N. Semenov,
this reduced film thickness. It is and A.N. Troitsky12
interesting to note that the addition
to the steam of a surface active
agent such as ODA increases the 8.6 Deposition on Blade Surfaces Historically the method for illustrat-
relative film thickness on blade sur- There is a long and extensive history ing the zones in which precipitation
faces, Figure 8-11, compared to in the evaluation of turbine deposi- of particular impurities will occur is
those shown in Figure 8-10. tion beginning as early as the through the use of the Mollier dia-
1930s.30,31 Many studies and sur- gram (Figure 2-3). Lines showing
Finally, as with the studies of oxygen veys have recognized the direct the location of stable condensed
in the early condensate, liquid films relation between high levels of and vaporous phases of a particular
have also been found to contain steam impurities, the concentration impurity are plotted along with state
very low levels (< 1 ppb) of oxygen of impurities in blade deposits and lines for the power cycle. These dia-
in model turbine tests using oxy- subsequent blade damage or fail- grams provide a large amount of
genated treatment. ures. Deposition is faster for those information including (i) which com-
conditions where the steam contains ponents in the cycle and what parts
higher concentration of impurities.

8-10 Impurities in the Turbine

of the turbine could be exposed to
potentially corrosive liquid concen- Concentration, Wt %
trates of impurities, (ii) locations in




Amorph, silica
the cycle where condensed phase
precipitation is possible for a given

steam impurity level, (iii) the rela-

tions between vapor phase concen-