Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-1920

Scaling Evaluation of Ice-Crystal Icing on a Modern Turbofan Engine in PSL Using the COMDES-MELT Code 2019-01-1920

This paper presents preliminary ice-crystal icing (ICI) altitude scaling evaluation results of a Honeywell Uncertified Research Engine (HURE) that was tested in the NASA Glenn Research Center Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL) during January of 2018. This engine geometry features a hidden core design to keep the core less exposed. The engine was fitted with internal video cameras to observe various ice buildup processes at multiple selected locations within the engine core flow path covering the fan stator, the splitter-lip/shroud/strut, and the high pressure compressor (HPC) variable inlet guide vane (IGV) regions. The potential ice accretion risk was pre-determined to occur by using NASA’s in-house 1D Engine Icing Risk assessment code, COMDES-MELT. The code was successful in predicting the risk of ice accretion in adiabatic regions like the fan-stator of the HURE at specific engine operating points. However at several operating points during the test, liquid water was observed running along the shroud toward the variable IGV of the HPC regions with an air temperature well below freezing, thus no particle melting could have occurred due to heating from the air alone. It was reasoned that other sources of heat were present in that region. To account for these heat sources the inlet total temperature was adjusted to give a wet bulb temperature of 24 °F below the standard minimum wet bulb temperature of 492 °R to allow ice to accrete in the splitter-lip/shroud/strut region, which was determined from a reference case where hard ice was observed in that region. With that adjustment the COMDES-MELT code was successful in providing operating points where there was a risk of ice accretion during the test campaign. In addition to calculating possible conditions at different selected lower altitudes, simulations were run to determine potential inlet conditions that could lead to ice-crystal accretion along the prescribed stations where the cameras were available. From there, scaled test conditions were determined by best matching the following three icing related parameters of the reference condition: (1) the local air total wet bulb temperature, (2) the local ice crystal cloud melt ratio and (3) the engine fan face ice/water to air mass flux ratio of the ice crystal cloud. Instantaneous images taken from the time-lapsed movies of ice buildup were used along with the relevant thermodynamic data of air, water vapor and local icing condition to help evaluate how closely the proposed altitude scaling method could be used in ground based test facility to duplicate selected reference ICI features observed at specific location inside this engine at different scale altitudes. Discussions on observed limitation for engine icing scaling application from this test campaign and needed improvement are provided. A scaling test procedure to help identify potential ICI risk conditions and possible ice accretion locations of a new turbofan engine is evaluated in PSL.


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