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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 601837, 10 pages
Research Article

Deterioration of Thermal Barrier Coated Turbine Blades by Erosion

1School of Aerospace Systems, University of Cincinnati, 2600 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
2NASA John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA

Received 21 June 2012; Revised 10 October 2012; Accepted 12 October 2012

Academic Editor: J.-C. Han

Copyright © 2012 Rohan Swar et al. 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.


A combined experimental and computational study was conducted to investigate the erosion of thermal barrier coated (TBC) blade surfaces by alumina particles ingestion in a single-stage turbine. In the experimental investigation, tests were performed to determine the erosion rates and particle restitution characteristics under different impact conditions. The experimental results show that the erosion rates increase with increased impingement angle, impact velocity, and temperature. In the computational simulations, an Euler-Lagrangian two-stage approach is used in obtaining numerical solutions to the three-dimensional compressible Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations and the particles equations of motion in each blade passage reference frame. User defined functions (UDFs) were developed to represent experimentally based correlations for particle surface interaction models and TBC erosion rates models. UDFs were employed in the three-dimensional particle trajectory simulations to determine the particle rebound characteristics and TBC erosion rates on the blade surfaces. Computational results are presented in a commercial turbine and a NASA-designed automotive turbine. The similarities between the erosion patterns in the two turbines are discussed for uniform particle ingestion and for particle ingestion concentrated in the inner and outer 5% of the stator blade span to represent the flow cooling of the combustor liner.