GP Blade Tip Section Erosion  T53-L-703 model Gas Turbine

Reference cooled 1st GP Turbine Blade 1-100-362-06/08

Problem Statement

Air Technology Engines Inc. (ATE) has been communicating with Honeywell Engineering

since mid-2016 in reference to an observed deterioration/erosion of the cooled 1st GP

Blade Leading edge, outer, blade tip section. See attachment labeled GP Blade Tip

Erosion. This deterioration has been ATE observed in approximately 50% of the engines

received for a 2500-3000 hour inspection. The outer, leading edge, blade tip sections of

many/most blades are eroded through the parent metal exposing the internal blade

cooling core. The designed blade cooling is lost when the internal cooling core is

exposed to the gas path. All blades require replacement. The effect of this blade

internal cooling loss on other GP cooled turbine components is unknown at this time.

Background Information

The L13B model engines exhibited similar GP blade erosion in approximately 25% of the

engines returned for 2500 hour inspection and overhaul. ATE determined that by

controlling all combustor liner air cooling gaps, repairing/replacing the GP nozzle curl

and combustor liner inner wall detail, and practicing a 600 hour time between fuel

manifold flow testing, the noted GP blade erosion was reduced to under 10% of the

engine population serviced.

The L13B model engines use the 1-130-780-01 combustor liner design. The L-703 model

engines use the 1-130-780-03 combustor liner design.

The -03 combustor liner design incorporated a change in the juncture of the GP nozzle

curl and the inner wall of the combustor liner. This change altered the boundary cooling

air being supplied to the GP blade tip and cylinder sections. The liner inner wall was

extended 0.5 inches and shrouded the boundary cooling holes introduced in the GP

Nozzle curl detail (1-100-262-06). The change was implemented to reduce/eliminate

wear occurring between the GP nozzle curl and the combustor liner inner wall dimples

(detail 1-130-253-03).

Observations

The boundary air introduced in the inner wall of the 1-130-780-01 combustor liner

design supplies cooling air to the gas path metal surfaces and the GP Blade tip section

region. Since the GP blades are rotating components, they experience an average

temperature and profile based upon the net effects of the cooling air introduced

upstream of the turbine operating plane. The effectiveness of the boundary cooling air

can be seen by observing the air flow “wake” or “foot print” from the air delivered

through the 44 liner dimples and exiting over the GP Nozzle curl. See attachment

labeled L13B curl. The boundary air introduction appears excellent. The wear patterns

from the liner dimples are also evident.

T53-L-703 Background Information

The Certification of the T53-L703 model engine was performed with the 1-130-780-01

combustor liner design. More than 3000 hours of engine endurance were demonstrated

at turbine inlet temperatures above the L-703 specification with no evidence of turbine

blade erosion or deterioration. The GP Blade material at that time was INCO 713, not

the improved material (C101) currently approved.

Observations

The L-703 engine uses the 1-130-780-03 Combustor liner design. This design change was

introduced to reduce the fretting damage incurred on the GP Nozzle curl from the

contact surfaces of the dimples on the combustor liner i