Gas Turbine Testing - Instrumentation Testing

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Blade with Sensor
Paddle Wheel Blade with Sensor Attached
VEXTEC's small turbine testing offers a quick, inexpensive way to test instrumentation prior to using it in a very expensive full size gas turbine. If the instrumentation fails in our rig, the costs are fairly small, so it makes economic sense to verify instrumentation before the real test. In a program with Environetix, VEXTEC's rig was used to evaluate a new adhesive to attach sensors to turbine blades. For this testing, sensors were attached with the adhesive to "Paddle Wheel" blades. Since the blades are rotated by the electric motor in our rig instead of the air flow, they do not need to have an airfoil shape. Paddle wheel blades have a simple flat shape, and a dovetail type attachment at the base.
Rotor with Test Blades
Split Rotor with Blades
VEXTEC used a split rotor design to hold these blades. The rotor has two halves which are bolted together. Shown on the left is a split rotor bolted together with 10 test blades. To put the blades into the rotor, the 6 bolts are removed so that the rotor halves can be separated. The blades are then placed between the 2 rotor halves, which are bolted back together. By using paddle wheel blades & the split rotor, VEXTEC was able to significantly shorten the lead time & reduce expense for this program.
Sensor Pre-Test
Attached Sensor Pre-Test

Sensor Post-Test
Attached Sensor Post-Test
These airfoils were subjected to increasingly hostile conditions, with optical inspections before stepping up to a more demanding condition:
  • At 800F:
    • 2 Minutes at 14,000 RPM - Stop & Inspect
    • 2 Minutes at 26,000 RPM - Stop & Inspect
    • 2 Minutes at 40,000 RPM - Stop & Inspect
    • 2 Minutes at 58,000 RPM - Stop & Inspect
  • At 1200F:
    • 2 Minutes at 14,000 RPM - Stop & Inspect
    • 2 Minutes at 26,000 RPM - Stop & Inspect
    • 2 Minutes at 40,000 RPM - Stop & Inspect
    • 2 Minutes at 58,000 RPM - Stop & Inspect
  • At 1200F & 24,300 RPM:
    • 10 Minutes - Stop & Inspect
    • 30 Minutes - Stop & Inspect
    • 60 Minutes - Stop & Inspect
  • Temperature Snaps at 24,300 RPM:
    • 10 Snaps from 950F to 1200F - Stop & Inspect
    • 16 Snaps from 950F to 1200F - Stop & Inspect
All sensors remained attached after testing was completed. With about a day's worth of testing, VEXTEC was able to verify the new adhesive was suitable for a full scale engine test.

VEXTEC Laboratory Group VEXTEC Laboratoy Group
1033 South Hunt Street
Terre Haute, IN 47803
VEXTEC - America's Most Promising Company
America's Most Promising Company
Forbes Magazine - October, 2009
E-mail
epope@vextec.com
URL
http://gas-turbine-testing.com/instrumentation-testing.htm
Phone
1-317-750-3414
Ed Pope
Copyright © 2012 VEXTEC