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ADAPTIVE CLEARANCE CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR TURBINE ENGINESThe Controls and Dynamics Technology Branch at NASA Glenn Research Center primarily deals in developing controls, dynamic models, and health management technologies for air and space propulsion systems. During the summer of 2004 I was granted the privilege of working alongside professionals who were developing an active clearance control system for commercial jet engines. Clearance, the gap between the turbine blade tip and the encompassing shroud, increases as a result of wear mechanisms and rubbing of the turbine blades on shroud. Increases in clearance cause larger specific fuel consumption (SFC) and loss of efficient air flow. This occurs because, as clearances increase, the engine must run hotter and bum more fuel to achieve the same thrust. In order to maintain efficiency, reduce fuel bum, and reduce exhaust gas temperature (EGT), the clearance must be accurately controlled to gap sizes no greater than a few hundredths of an inch. To address this problem, NASA Glenn researchers have developed a basic control system with actuators and sensors on each section of the shroud. Instead of having a large uniform metal casing, there would be sections of the shroud with individual sensors attached internally that would move slightly to reform and maintain clearance. The proposed method would ultimately save the airline industry millions of dollars.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Blackwell, Keith M.
(Cleveland State Univ. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium I
Subject Category
Aircraft Propulsion And Power
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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