Title page for ETD etd-11172010-114849

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Cardwell, Nicholas Don
Author's Email Address ncardwel@vt.edu
URN etd-11172010-114849
Title Investigation of Particle Trajectories for Wall Bounded Turbulent Two-Phase Flows
Degree PhD
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Thole, Karen A. Committee Co-Chair
Vlachos, Pavlos P. Committee Co-Chair
Dancey, Clinton L. Committee Member
Diller, Thomas E. Committee Member
Simpson, Roger L. Committee Member
  • Internal Cooling
  • Particle Tracking Velocimetry
  • Gas Turbines
  • Multiphase Flows
Date of Defense 2010-04-02
Availability unrestricted
The analysis of turbulent flows provides a unique scientific challenge whose solution remains central to unraveling the fundamental nature of all fluid dynamics. Measuring and predicting turbulent flows becomes even more difficult when considering a two-phase flow, which is a commonly encountered engineering problem across many disciplines. One such example, the ingestion of foreign debris into a gas turbine engine, provided the impetus for this study. Despite more than 40 years of research, operation with a particle-laden inlet flow remains a significant problem for modern turbomachines. The purpose, therefore, is to develop experimental methods for investigating multi-phase flows relevant to the cooling of gas turbine components.

Initially, several generic components representing turbine cooling designs were evaluated with a particle-laden flow using a special high temperature test facility. The results of this investigation revealed that blockage was highly sensitive to the carrier flowfield as defined by the cooling geometry. A second group of experiments were conducted in one commonly used cooling design using a Time Resolved Digital Particle Image Velocimetry (TRDPIV) system that directly investigated both the carrier flowfield and particle trajectories. Traditional PIV processing algorithms, however, were unable to resolve the particle motions of the two-phase flow with sufficient fidelity. To address this issue, a new Particle Tracking Velocimetry (PTV) algorithm was developed and validated for both single-phase and two-phase flows. The newly developed PTV algorithm was shown to outperform other published algorithms as well as possessing a unique ability to handle particle laden two-phase flows.

Overall, this work demonstrates several experimental methods that are well suited for the investigation of wall-bounded turbulent two-phase flows, with a special emphasis on a turbine cooling method. The studies contained herein provide valuable information regarding the previously unknown fluid and particle dynamics within the turbine cooling system.

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