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EAS 3503

Chapter 5
Aerothermodynamics of
Engine Components
Dr Syamimi Saadon
1st Semester, September 2016 January 2017

The design of a gas turbine combustion system is a complex
process involving fluid dynamics, combustion and mechanical
The main objective here is to show how the problem of
design is basically one of reaching the best compromise
between a number of conflicting requirements, which will
vary widely with different applications.
Combustion in the normal, open cycle, gas turbine is a
continuous process in which fuel is burned in the air supplied by
the compressor; an electric spark is required only for initiating
the combustion process, and thereafter the flame must be selfsustaining.


Turbine engine combustors have undergone continuing development over
the past 50 years, resulting in the evolution of a variety of basic
combustor configurations. Contemporary combustion systems may be
broadly classified into one of the three types schematically illustrated

Can. A can combustion system consists of one or more cylindrical

combustors, each contained in a combustor case. In the small T-63
turboshaft engine, a single combustor can is used, whereas larger
propulsion systems use a multican assembly in an arrangement
designed to provide a continuous annular gas flow to the turbine section.

The earliest aircraft engines made use of can (or tubular)

combustors, as shown in Figure, in which the air leaving the
compressor is split into a number of separate streams, each
supplying a separate chamber. These chambers are spaced around
the shaft connecting the compressor and turbine, each chamber
having its own fuel jet fed from a common supply line. This
arrangement was well suited to engines with centrifugal
compressors, where the flow was divided into separate streams in the
Advantages of can type:
mechanically robust
fuel flow and airflow patterns are easily matched
easy replacement for maintenance
Disadvantages of can type:
bulky and heavy
high pressure loss
requires interconnectors
large frontal area and high drag

Cannular. This combustion system consists of a series of

cylindrical combustors arranged within a common annulus-hence, the cannular name. This combustor type is the most
common in the current aircraft turbine engine population, but it
is rapidly being replaced with the annular type.
Advantages of cannular type:
mechanically robust
fuel flow and airflow patterns are
easily matched
shorter and lighter than can
low pressure loss
less compact than annular
requires connectors

Annular. Most modern combustion systems employ the annular

design in which a single combustor having an annular cross section
supplies gas to the turbine. An example of this combustor type, the
TF39, is illustrated in Figure. The improved combustion zone
uniformity, design simplicity, reduced liner surface area, and shorter
system length provided by the common combustion annulus has
made the annular combustor the leading contender for all future
propulsion systems.

Advantages of annular type:

minimum length and weight
minimum pressure loss
minimum engine frontal area
less wall area than cannular -> cooling air required is less ->
combustion efficiency raises as the unburned fuel is reduced
design simplicity
combustion zone uniformity
permits better mixing of the fuel and air
increased durability
Disadvantages of annular type:
difficult to match fuel flow and airflow patterns
must remove engine from aircraft to disassemble for maintenance
and overhaul
more expensive

The diffusion and premixed flame are two main type of combustion, which
are used in gas turbines. Although there are different types of combustors,
but generally, all combustion chambers have a diffuser, a casing, a liner, a
fuel injector and a cooling arrangement. An entire common layout is
visualized in figure.

The layout of the combustion chamber



The temperature of the gases after combustion must be

comparatively low to suit the highly stressed turbine
materials. Development of improved materials and methods of
blade cooling, however, has enabled permissible combustor
outlet temperatures to rise from about 1100 K to as much as
1850 K for aircraft applications.

The formation of carbon deposits must be avoided. Small

particles carried into the turbine in the high velocity gas stream
can erode the blades and block cooling air passages; therefore
less carbon content is necessary to avoid excessive carbon.

Avoidance of smoke in the exhaust is of major importance for

all types of gas turbine; early jet engines had very smoky
exhausts, and this became a serious problem around airports
when jet transport aircraft started to operate in large numbers.
Smoke trails in flight were a problem for military aircraft,
permitting them to be seen from a great distance.
Although gas turbine combustion systems operate at extremely

high efficiencies, they produce pollutants such as oxides of

nitrogen (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned
hydrocarbons (UHC) and these must be controlled to very low
levels. Over the years, the performance of the gas turbine has
been improved mainly by increasing the compressor pressure
ratio and turbine inlet temperature (TIT). Unfortunately this
results in increased production of NOx .


Combustion of a liquid fuel involves the mixing of a

fine spray of droplets with air, vaporization of the
droplets, the breaking down of heavy hydrocarbons
into lighter fractions, the intimate mixing of
molecules of these hydrocarbons with oxygen
molecules, and finally the chemical reactions
Since the overall air/fuel ratio is in the region of
100 : 1, while the stoichiometric ratio is
approximately 15: 1, the first essential is that the
air should be introduced in stages.

The combustion section must release the heat in a

manner that the air is expanded and accelerated to
give a smooth and stable stream of uniformly-heated
gas at all starting and operating conditions. This task
must be accomplished with minimum pressure loss
and maximum heat release.
Three such stages can be distinguished.
About 15-20 % of the air is introduced around the jet of
fuel in the primary zone to provide the necessary
high temperature for rapid combustion.

Some 30% of the total air is then introduced through

holes in the flame-tube in the secondary zone to
complete the combustion. For high combustion
efficiency, this air must be injected carefully at the
right points in the process, to avoid chilling the flame
locally and drastically reducing the reaction rate in that
Finally, in the dilution zone the remaining air is mixed
with the products of combustion to cool them down to
the temperature required at inlet to the turbine.
Sufficient turbulence must be promoted so that the hot
and cold streams are thoroughly mixed to give the
desired outlet temperature distribution.

Combustion chamber
The main factors of importance in assessing combustion
chamber performance are
(a) pressure loss,
(b) combustion efficiency,
(c) combustion stability,
(e) combustion intensity.
Pressure loss
Combustion chamber pressure loss is due to two distinct causes:
(i)skin friction and turbulence (mixing) (HIGHER)
(ii)the rise in temperature due to combustion (LOWER)
The source of pressure loss are either cold or hot losses. Cold
losses arise from sudden expansion, wall friction, turbulent
dissipation and mixing.
The hot losses are due to temperature increase.

Combustion efficiency
The main objective of a combustor is to transfer all the energy of the
fuel to the gas stream but in practice this will not occur, since some of
the fuel may not find oxygen for combustion in the very short period of
Therefore combustion efficiency can be defined in a number of
equation forms as

where subscripts 3 and 4 represent the combustor entrance

and exit conditions, respectively.

Combustion stability
smooth burning and the ability of the flame to remain alight over a
wide operating range
reasons of instability:
if the fuel-air mixture becomes too lean or too rich, the
temperatures and reaction rates drop below the level necessary to
effectively heat and vaporize the incoming fuel and air
if the velocity of gas stream becomes higher than the flame
speed, it causes a blow out of the flame

Combustion intensity
heat released by the combustion chamber is dependent on the
volume of the combustion area larger volume will achieve a low
pressure drop, high efficiency and good outlet temperature distribution
the lower the value of CI the easier it is to design a combustion



Rainer Kurz-Introduction to Gas

Turbines and Applications

A pressure ratio of around 4: 1 can
readily be obtained from a singlestage
compressor made of
aluminium alloys; this is considered
adequate for a heat-exchange cycle
when the turbine inlet temperature
is in the range of 1000 1200K.
When higher pressure
compressor may be
conjunction with an
compressor, or as a

ratios are
centrifugalused in
axial flow

The velocity triangles in any

turbomachine are governed by
the relation
where C , U , W
are the absolute, rotational and relative velocities,
respectively. The flow at approach to the eye maybe axial (C1) or may
have a swirl angle (in case of prewhirl).

The flow velocity when added to the

velocity (U1) will give the relative
velocity (W1), which varies in
magnitude and direction from eye
hub to tip since (U1) varies with radii.
This inlet velocity is drawn in the
axial-tangential plane.
At the impeller outlet, the air leaves
the passage with a relative velocity
(W2), which when added to the
tangential speed (U2), will give the
absolute velocity (C2), which is
greater than (C1) and represents the
effect of work input to the rotor shaft.
It is interesting to note here that the
outlet velocity triangle is at the
radial-tangential plane thus different
from the inlet impeller.


The importance of a high overall pressure ratio in reducing specific fuel
consumption, and the difficulties of obtaining a high pressure ratio with
the centrifugal compressor have been recognized.
From an early stage in the history of the gas turbine, it was recognized
that the
axial flow compressor had the potential for both higher pressure ratio
and higher
efficiency than the centrifugal compressor.
Another major advantage, especially for jet engines, was the much
larger flow rate possible for a given frontal area.
These potential gains have now been fully realized as the result of
research into the aerodynamics of axial compressors: the axial flow
dominates the field for large powers and the centrifugal compressor is
restricted to

Careful design of compressor blading based on both

aerodynamic theory and experiment is necessary, not
on1y to prevent wasteful losses, but also to ensure a
minimum of stalling troubles which are all too
prevalent in axial compressors, especially if the
pressure ratio is high. Stalling, as in the case of
isolated aerofoils, arises when the difference between
the flow direction and the blade angle (i.e. the angle
of incidence) becomes excessive.
The fact that the pressure gradient is acting against
the flow direction is always a danger to the stability of
the flow, and flow reversals may easily occur at
conditions of mass flow and rotational speed which
are different from those for which the blades were

With the density increasing as the flow progresses through the machine, it
is therefore necessary to reduce the flow area and hence the blade height.
When the machine is running at a lower speed than design, the density in
the rear stages will be far from the design value, resulting in incorrect axial
velocities which will cause blade stalling and compressor surge. Several
methods may be used to overcome this problem, all of which entail
increased mechanical complexity.

The flow is considered to occur in the tangential plane at the mean blade
height where the rotation velocity is U. The axial velocity is denoted as (a)
and rotational velocity is denoted as (u). The radial velocity component is
The air approaches the rotor with an absolute velocity (C1), at an angle ( 1)
to the axial direction; when combined with the rotational speed (U), the
relative velocity will be (W1), at an angle ( 1) to the axial. After passing
through the diverging passages formed between the rotor blades that do
work on the air, its absolute velocity (C2) will increase (C2 > C1) while its
relative velocity W2 will decrease (W2 < W1) and the flow exit angle 2 will
be less than the flow inlet angle 1.
Since the W2 is decreased, the static pressure increases (P2 > P1), a pressure
rise will be developed in the rotor. The flow then passes through the stator
passages, which are also diverging; thus the absolute velocity is decreased
due to diffusion, C3 < C2 and P3 > P2. The flow angle at the outlet of the
U to the inlet angle to the U
stator will be equal
rotor (i.e. 3 = 1).
tan 1 tan 1
tan 2 tan 2
Ca 2

With constant axial and rotational velocities, the absolute and relative swirl
velocities are calculated from the following relations:


C u 1 Cu 2

tan 1 tan 2
tan m um

tan m

Wu1 Wu 2

Wum tan 1 tan 2


Velocity triangles for one stage

AXIAL FLOW TURBINEThe gas enters the row of nozzle blades with

a static
pressure and temperature p1,T1 and a
velocity C1, and then is expanded to p2,T2
and leaves with an increased velocity C2 at
an angle 2
The rotor blade inlet
angle will be chosen
to suit the direction
2 of the gas velocity
V2 relative to the
blade at inlet.
2 and V2 are found
by vectorial
subtraction of the
blade speed U from
the absolute velocity
C2 .

The gases leaving the combustion chamber approach the stator (or nozzle)
with an absolute velocity (C1), normally in an axial direction and thus, 1 =
0. Since the passage represents a nozzle, with either a convergent and
convergent-divergent passage, the flow is accelerated leading to an
increase in the absolute velocity. The flow leaves the stator passage at a
speed C2, where C2 > C1. The static pressure decreases as usual as the gas
passes through the nozzle. Moreover total pressure decrease due to skin
friction and other sources of losses. Thus P1>P2, P01>P02. In addition the
static enthalpy and total enthalpy drop at the end of nozzle.
The flow leaves the stator with an absolute speed of C2 and an angle 2
when combined with the rotational speed U; the relative velocity will be W2,
inclined at an angle 2 to the axial.
As the rotor blade-to-blade passages also resemble nozzle shape, the
relative velocity W3 of the gas will increase W3>W2 while its absolute
velocity C3 decreases C3<C2 and the flow exit angle 3 will be greater
than the flow inlet angle 3 > 2. The static and total pressures also drop
in the rotor passage (P3<P2, P03<P02). The static enthalpy and total
enthalpy also drop at the end of the rotor. If there is no static pressure and
static enthalpy drop in the rotor, the turbine is called an impulse turbine. As

Aero engines need an axial turbine having a high blade

loading or temperature drop coefficient and a high flow
temperature drop per stage and consequently few
stages for certain power output. Thus the weight and
size of an aero engine are minimum, which satisfies
flight needs.
Moreover high flow coefficient implies high axial
velocity and consequently small annulus area. This
leads to a small frontal area and a low drag.

Exercise 1
A centrifugal compressor has the following data:
Deh = 0.12 m
Det = 0.24 m
Dt = 0.5 m
C1 = 100 m/s
N = 300 rev/s
T01 = 300K
Assuming that the axial velocity is kept constant and equal to 100 m/s, in
the following three cases:
(i)No prewhirl
(ii)Constant prewhirl angle = 25
(iii)Constant inlet relative angle 1 as its value at the hub if no prewhirl is
Calculate the inlet relative Mach number (M1rel) at the hub, mean and tip
sections of the eye.

Exercise 2
Air at 1 bar and 15 C enters a three stage axial compressor with a
velocity of 120 m/s. There are no IGVs and constant axial velocity is
assumed throughout. In each stage, the rotor turning angle is 25 . The
annular flow passages are shaped in such a way that the mean blade
radius is 20 cm everywhere. The rotor speed is 9000 rpm. The polytropic
efficiency is constant at 0.9. The blade height at the inlet is 5 cm.
Draw the velocities diagram and calculate
1)Specific work for each stage
2)The mass flow rate

Exercise 3
A single stage axial flow gas turbine has the following data:
Turbine inlet temperature = 1100 K
Turbine inlet total pressure = 3.4 bar
Stage temperature drop = 144K
Isentropic efficiency = 0.9
Mean blade speed U = 298 m/s
Mass flow rate m = 18.75 kg/s
Flow coefficient = 0.95
Loss coefficient for nozzle blade = 0.05
The convergent nozzle is choked
The nozzle is assumed to be adiabatic.
1.Blade-loading coefficient
2.Pressure ratio of the stage
3.The flow angles 2, 3, 2, 3

Exercise 4
A single stage axial flow gas turbine has a mean radius of 30 cm and a
blade height at the stator inlet of 6 cm. The hot gases enter the turbine
stage at 1900 kPa and 1200 K and the absolute velocity leaving the
stator (C2) is 600 m/s and inclined at an angle 65 to the axial direction.
The relative angles at the inlet and outlet of the rotor blade are 25 and
60 respectively. The stage efficiency is 0.88. Calculate
1.The absolute angle 3
2.The rotor rotational speed in rpm
3.The stage pressure ratio
4.Flow coefficient, blade-loading coefficient and degree of reaction
5.The mass flow rate
6.The power delivered by the turbine
Take = 1.33, R = 290 J/kg.K and Ca/U is constant through the stage.