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Welcome to the second

Above: Russell Stoddart,
Vice President Engineering,
Wood Group Gas Turbine

edition of Axiom
t is a great pleasure to introduce you to the second ing from standard combustion to DLN low emission
I edition of Axiom, Wood Group Gas Turbine Serv-
ices’ (GTS) quarterly technical newsletter for the
combustion systems as the industry faces the chal-
lenge to become more environmentally aware. We
global energy industry. In this issue of Axiom, we then move on to repair solutions for single crystal
concentrate on the emergence of the new class of ad- blades and look into laser welding technology and its
vanced technology gas turbines. With the drive to en- benefits. Finally, we talk about solutions for cracking
hance the performance of industrial gas turbines, in GE advanced technology turbine discs.
these sophisticated machines are becoming more I hope you enjoy the second issue of Axiom and
and more widespread within the power generation look forward to bringing you more news in future
market. editions.
This issue begins with opportunities for repairing
GE advanced technology turbine blades. Following Russell Stoddart, Vice President Engineering,
this, GTS looks at combustion system upgrades mov- Wood Group Gas Turbine Services

Axiom October 2008

Repair development for GE advanced technology Right Figure 3: Thermal
stress plot showing
[Continued from centre page]
These combustion systems use a lean pre-mixed
control strategies to achieve good combustion effi-
ciency with very low NOx. Increased firing tempera-
row 1 turbine blades stresses in the platform
before (right) and after (far
fuel/air mixture to ensure uniform complete combus-
tion and prevent formation of pollutant emissions.
tures globally, and newer legislation being passed to
reduce NOx emissions, have made complex DLN sys-
right) modification. As these systems are designed to operate close to the tem upgrades a necessity.
Right Figure 1: Evolution combustion stability margin, they are prone to com- GTS offer repairs to low emissions fuel nozzles
of the row 1 Blade. bustion dynamics. and associated hardware for most engine types. We
To counter the problems of combustion dynamics, also have the capability to upgrade standard combus-
DLN systems usually require complex staging and tion systems to DLN systems.

Right Figure 1: Frame

7FA DLN 2.6 Fuel Nozzles.

Far right Figure 2: Frame

9E DLN 1 Fuel Nozzles.

[Continued from left page] This illustration is just one example of GTS’s model-
ling capability. These modelling capabilities have
Blade history been refined to analyse cracking in the root platform,
GE’s F class of machines have evolved through the oxidation at the blade tip and Thermal Mechanical
FA and FA+ to the latest FA+e and FB model. Figure Fatigue (TMF) cracking in the aerofoil.
1 illustrates the evolution of the row 1 blade, high-
lighting the change at the trailing edge cooling holes Solutions
to resolve the cracking problem. However, issues still GTS offers innovative repairs which can help over-
n recent years, opportunities to develop repairs for led to the application of design technology predomi- persist and life limits are allocated to the blade as a come many of these problems, such as the inclusion
I advanced technology gas turbines have gathered
momentum, as Original Equipment Manufacturer
nantly developed within the aero industry. Critical
components are made from high temperature, high
result. To offer operators an alternative repair solu-
tion that can potentially deliver improved results,
of platform cooling; trailing edge modifications; im-
provements to the coating system; and improved
GTS Capability:
Heavy Industrial Market
(OEM) warranty periods and long term service agree- strength super alloys, which have complex cooling GTS gathered intelligence from the market regarding cooling at the tip. All of these repairs have been filed
ments have been coming to an end. Operators are systems, thin wall sections and more exotic coating all known problems and created thermal and stress with the US patent office. The model shown in Fig- Gas Turbine Type Parts
looking more and more to independent repair organi- systems. GTS recognises the fundamental impor- models prior to developing repair solutions. ure 3 illustrates how the incorporation of a modifica- GE Frame (including DLN 1, DLN 2.0 and DLN 2.6)
sations to evaluate parts and develop new repair so- tance of analysing the mechanical and structural in- tion has reduced the thermal stress associated with
Siemens Westinghouse 501F Full range of fuel nozzle and combustion system repairs
lutions that help extend the life of critical compo- tegrity of a component prior to developing an inno- Repair development the platform, leading to increased life and reduced
nents within these sophisticated engines. vative repair solution and aims to deliver a significant GTS has dimensionally surveyed, both internally costs for the operator. GTS continues to invest in the Mitsubishi 701F engines
The increased firing temperatures and improved improvement over the existing design. and externally, a range of new and engine-run development of innovative solutions for complex Frame 7EA and 9E DLN 1 (Shown in Figure 2) Range of repairs to the primary and secondary nozzles
efficiency of advanced technology gas turbines have Continued on centre page > blades, and created 3D models which are used for components, to ensure that we fully understand a
Frame 9FA DLN 2.0 and Frame 7FA DLN 2.6 Fuel nozzle repairs include Pre-mix nozzle fusible tip re-
fluid dynamics work and finite element analysis. Ad- component’s structural integrity, and therefore pro-
(Shown in Figure 1) placement, Pre-mix nozzle bellows replacement, internal
Right Figure 2: Stress plot ditionally, we categorised known defects and over- vide technically-competent and credible repair solu-
leakage braze repair, metering orifice replacement, atom-
of the trailing edge cool- laid them on the models for better understanding. tions. For more information or to discuss your repair ising air tube tip and base replacement, and liquid and
ing holes compared to an Figure 2 shows the high stressed area at the trailing requirements with the GTS technical team, please Above Figure 3: LM6000 water core repairs.
engine run part . edge and compares it with an engine run component. contact DLE Fuel Nozzles.

To further aid in reducing emissions, GTS calibrates all heavy industrial fuel nozzles to have minimal flow
differences in the range of ±1.5% across the set.
DLN System upgrades
Aero-derivative & Light Industrial Markets
tringent Government regulations concerning car- reduce the formation of carbon monoxide that can
S bon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons
(UHC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, have
form in a fuel rich air/fuel mixture (e.g. higher than
the stoichiometric ratio for the fuel being used). It
Gas Turbine Type Parts
GE LM aero-derivative engines (shown in Figure 3) Fuel nozzle overhaul and repair, including replacement of
led most gas turbine users to switch over to low also lowers the reaction/flame temperature prevent- the nozzle cups, and OEM level overhaul on staging valves
emissions combustion systems. While there are other ing formation of oxides of nitrogen. Common types
Rolls-Royce RB211 DLE Overhaul complete fuel systems
methods employed to reduce emissions from gas tur- of low emission combustion systems used in gas tur-
bines, including variable combustion chamber geom- bines are: Pratt & Whitney GG4 Low NOx systems Overhaul complete fuel systems
etry and staged combustion, emissions can also be
Solar SoLoNOx™ (shown in Figure 4) Full range of fuel nozzle repairs
controlled by steam or water injection into the com- • Dry Low NOx (DLN)
bustion system. • Dry Low Emissions (DLE)
Low emission combustion systems ensure com- • Silo Burners Above Figure 4: SoLoNOx With smaller engines, GTS also offers a comprehensive package of repairs for all engine types. We can pro-
plete combustion of the carbon in the fuel and thereby • SoLoNOx™ Continued on right page > Fuel Nozzle. vide users with a single source for repairs. For more information, contact

Axiom October 2008 Axiom October 2008 Axiom October 2008
Single crystal blades - laser welding Solutions for cracking in GE advanced technology
Right Figure 1:
turbine discs
n June 1987, GE launched its new F class of ma- stresses on the disc end faces. GTS also incorporated
Micrograph of laser weld

Far right Figure 2:

I chines, incorporating higher firing temperatures
and improved output and efficiency. Significant
the effects of the turbine blade at rotational speed,
and created a full model of the row 1 blade in order
Micrograph of TIG weld changes had been incorporated into the new design to analyse the entire bladed assembly. Information
to overcome the intense operating regime being expe- from the engine, together with upstream and down-
rienced. These included material, cooling configura- stream data, was built into the model to ensure that
tion and general manufacturing changes. GTS understood the effects of the system as a whole.
In recent years, the industry has experienced sev-
Above Figure 1: Cracking eral failures of the F class turbine discs, and analysis The results
occurs between the dove- revealed that cracking can occur at the intersection The results generated from the above work con-
tail and cooling passages. of the broached dovetail and the cooling air slots as firmed that the mechanism of crack initiation was
shown in Figure 1. This appears to be more prevalent due to Stress Associated Grain Boundary Oxidation
raditionally, equiaxed and directionally-solidi- from an equiaxed grain structure and although the on discs which have not been shot peened from new, (SAGBO). High tensile stresses within the specific re-
T fied turbine blades have been repaired using
Tungsten Inert gas (TIG) and plasma welding tech-
laser weld does not retain the full creep-resisting
properties of a single crystal, the areas of a blade that
however it may also exist on a number which have
been peened. This component is a critical element in
gion were allowing oxide penetration of the grain
boundaries. Oxide wedging was then allowing the
niques. However, the newer gamma prime (g’) pre- typically require a weld repair, such as the tip or seal the structure of the engine and the potential risk of defects to propagate down the grain boundaries until
cipitation-hardened nickel-based superalloys used in fins are comparatively lightly loaded and some re- failure from any crack is high. To identify a solution the crack reached critical proportions. This had oc-
the manufacture of single crystal blades are difficult duction in creep-resistance is acceptable. to overcome this issue, it is vital to fully understand curred in several instances and it was important to
to weld due to their propensity for thermal stress and Laser welding also offers other benefits. Unlike the crack mechanism and crack growth kinetics. install measures which would adequately inspect for
strain age cracking. The heat energy input during TIG or plasma welding, the process uses filler in In response, the OEM has proposed various solu- the onset of crack formation and alleviate this initia-
TIG and plasma welding has a tendency to induce powder form. A wider range of high strength alloys is tions to operators. Additionally, GTS was asked to in- tion process.
cracking and generates an appreciable heat-affected available as powder than is available in rod form. dependently review the methodology and propose a
zone in the base material. Additionally, the deposited This offers more scope to optimise the properties of a Above Figure 2: Front way forward. GTS secured a disc that had previously Our solutions
material has an equiaxed grain structure. The conse- laser weld by selecting an appropriate filler alloy. view of the turbine disc. been engine operated and found it to have cracks in Since the initiation and propagation process has
quent material properties can be tolerated for Being fully automated, laser welds are very consis- the area mentioned earlier. Figure 2 shows the front found to be a result of high stress, oxidation and tem-
equiaxed and directionally-solidified blades, but are tent and they can be controlled to produce a near net view of the turbine disc. A full dimensional evalua- perature, eliminating or reducing any or all of these
less acceptable for single crystal blades fitted in en- shape as can be seen in Figure 3. This reduces the tion was undertaken using co-ordinate measuring mechanisms will reduce the initiation and propaga-
gines operating at the highest rated temperatures. amount of final machining or blending required to technology and white light laser scanning which fa- tion drivers. GTS has developed a process to inspect
Laser welding, sometimes also called laser powder restore the finished profile and lowers the repair cost. cilitated the creation of a three dimensional model. for the defects and then subsequently apply a process
fusion, puts much less heat into the part than a cor- This model has been used to create finite element which reduces the effects of these drivers. GTS has
Right Figure 3: Laser responding TIG or plasma weld and, by careful selec- models and computational fluid models of the disc already incorporated this into one of our long term
welding a single crystal tion of the process parameters, some control of the to evaluate both temperature and stress profiles in service agreements with the approval of both the
blade morphology of the weld build-up can be achieved. the areas of concern. Figures 3 shows the finite ele- customer and the insurance company. For more in-
Consequently, laser welding is the method of choice ment model of the disc and blade assembly, Figure 4 formation or to find out how GTS can add value to
for the repair of single crystal material. shows the stress plot of the section between dovetail your operations, please contact:
The low heat energy input of laser welding be- and cooling passages and Figure 5 shows the thermal
comes apparent when the micrographs of laser and
TIG welds are compared in Figures 1 & 2. The heat-
affected zone is clearly visible in the TIG weld but is
effectively undetectable in the laser weld. Conse-
quently, when welding a single crystal part using a
laser, the desirable properties of the single crystal
structure can be retained right up to the base of the GTS has several years experience in the success-
weld. Single crystal blade material has a dendritic ful repair of single crystal turbine blades using a
structure with the dendrites running spanwise along laser powder fusion welder. The laser powder fusion
the blade. By careful control of the laser welding pa- welder in our East Windsor, Connecticut, facility has
rameters, it is possible to grow these dendrites into an operating envelope capable of accepting most in-
the weld deposit producing what is known as epitax- dustrial gas turbine blades. To find out more about
ial directionally-solidified growth. This resulting GTS repair solutions for single crystal components,
weld retains greater strength than a weld formed please contact

Above Figure 3: Model of Above Figure 4: Stress plot of the section between dove- Above Figure 5: Thermal stress plot of disc end faces.
Right Table Comparing Properties blade and disc. tail and cooling passages.
Properties of TIG and Heat Input Heat Affected Zone Grain Structure Weld Filter Weld Finishing
Laser Welds
TIG High Significant Equiaxed Rod High
Weld Type

Laser Low Almost nil Equiaxal Powder Low contact us

If you have a technical issue that you would like to discuss with GTS, please email us at Axiom October 2008 Axiom October 2008 Copyright © 2008 Wood Group. All rights reserved.