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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 402763, 12 pages
Research Article

The Mechanical Impact of Aerodynamic Stall on Tunnel Ventilation Fans

1Fläkt Woods Ltd., Axial Way, Colchester CO4 5ZD, UK
2Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Aerospaziale, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, Rome 00184, Italy

Received 28 August 2011; Revised 3 December 2011; Accepted 7 December 2011

Academic Editor: Ting Wang

Copyright © 2012 A. G. Sheard and A. Corsini. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper describes work aimed at establishing the ability of a tunnel ventilation fan to operate without risk of mechanical failure in the event of aerodynamic stall. The research establishes the aerodynamic characteristics of a typical tunnel ventilation fan when operated in both stable and stalled aerodynamic conditions, with and without an anti-stall stabilisation ring, with and without a “nonstalling” blade angle and at full, half, and one quarter design speed. It also measures the fan’s peak stress, thus facilitating an analysis of the implications of the experimental results for mechanical design methodology. The paper concludes by presenting three different strategies for tunnel ventilation fan selection in applications where the selected fan will most likely stall. The first strategy selects a fan with a low-blade angle that is nonstalling. The second strategy selects a fan with a high-pressure developing capability. The third strategy selects a fan with a fitted stabilisation ring. Tunnel ventilation system designers each have their favoured fan selection strategy. However, all three strategies can produce system designs within which a tunnel ventilation fan performs reliably in-service. The paper considers the advantages and disadvantages of each selection strategy and considered the strengths and weaknesses of each.