Solid particles dispersed in the air represent a real hazard for gas turbines in both heavy-duty and aero-propulsion applications. Particles impacting the inner surfaces of the machine can stick to such surfaces or erode them. The geometry modifications related to such occurrences entail aerodynamic surface degradation. As the severity of the problem increases, the performance reduction can increase, demanding engine shut-down and off-line washing or refurbishing.

Numerical modeling is one of the techniques employed for understanding and predicting the particle deposition problem. Multiple numerical studies investigated the influences of these phenomena. However, the basic challenge of modeling the particle wall-interaction with sufficient accuracy remains. In this work, a cascade exposed to a particle-laden flow is numerically investigated. The numerical analysis is devoted to investigate a test rig designed to be representative of aircraft engine compressor blading and exposed to an accelerated deposition process.

Firstly, the relation between flow structures and particle trajectory is investigated. Then, a computational analysis is carried out considering different particle-wall interaction models of varying complexity levels (e.g. pure adhesion, presence of humidity or the influence of surface roughness) in order to identify advantages and disadvantages of each model and their ability to include different phenomena. The results are discussed by taking into account measurement data from a cascade test rig. The deviation between experimental data and the investigated model is evaluated, showing the increasing reliability that derives from successive model refinement. This work is proposed to be a test case for the numerical analyses of compressor fouling applications and a first step towards a general physical based particle-wall interaction model.

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