Ph.D. Dissertation Defense: Curtis K. Stimpson,"Cooling Performance of Additively Manufactured Microchannels and Film Cooling Holes"


Additive manufacturing (AM) enables fabrication of components that cannot be made with any other manufacturing method. The gas turbine industry stands to benefits from metal AM as a means of manufacturing components subjected to high heat flux because it enables the fabrication of parts with complex microchannel cooling schemes. Choosing to make hot section turbine components with microchannels reduces cooling flow requirements and increases the engine cycle efficiency. Because metal AM is a relatively young technology, the overall impact of using AM in a turbine design is yet unknown. In particular, the surface roughness inherent to metal AM parts differs significantly in magnitude and morphology from other rough surfaces that have been studied previously. The impact on flow losses and heat transfer of this type of roughness must be understood to implement AM into turbine hardware successfully.

In this study, a series of test coupons were made with laser powder bed fusion from high temperature metal powder. Flow losses and convective heat transfer were quantified with coupons containing microchannels. The surface roughness magnitude and morphology of these coupons was characterized, and a correlation was developed to relate the roughness to the flow and heat transfer findings. Cooling performance was evaluated with coupons contained film cooling holes and micrcochannels in a conjugate experimental setup. The roughness was found to have a profound impact on the cooling performance when compared to ideal smooth geometries. This study produced critical data for gas turbine designers as they design the next generation of gas turbine engines.



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