Failure Analysis and Repair of a Catastrophically Damaged Gas Turbine Compressor Disk Using SEM Technique and CFD Analysis
During a major overhaul of an 85 MW gas turbine unit in Iran-Rey power plant, 39 cracks were detected with different lengths and locations on the compressor disk of stage 11. All of the cracks initiated from the dovetail regions. Preliminary visual inspections and further micro-fractography using the scanning electron microscope demonstrated that the fretting fatigue phenomenon was the main cause of failure. Four repair methods were suggested to restart the unit. The first one was to remove all of the cracks from the disk by machining, or the so-called blending. The second, third, and fourth ways were to remove the entire rotor blades of stage 11, to remove the entire rotor and stator blades of the stage 11 simultaneously, and to remove those rotor blades of stage 11 corresponding to the damaged dovetails, respectively. Although the first way of solution was initially carried out on the damaged disk, the first author offered that restarting the unit with the blended disk is not reliable enough because of the presence of a large number of repair points on the disk. Using the numerical investigations based on the computational fluid dynamics, it was found that only the second suggestion (i.e., removing the entire rotor blades of the stage 11) might be applicable. Ultimately, the entire stage 11 rotor blades were removed from the blended disk, and the gas turbine unit was successfully restarted without encountering abnormal operation. Although the performed process resulted in approximately 20% output power loss compared with the unit's power before the blades' removal, the unit was quickly restored to be ready to restart, and the electric power could be generated during the period of peak consumption.
KeywordsGas turbine Compressor disk Failure Crack Fretting fatigue
The authors wish to thank Mr. Eng. Fariborz Teimouri, the managing director of the Rey power plant, for providing the support to this study. They also thank Mr. Eng. Hamid Reza Jafarinia and Mr. Eng. Ali Ghiasipour for their assistance in the field studies. Mrs. Eng. Elnaz Ghorbani is warmly thanked for her help in typesetting and the final review of the manuscript.
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