Flow field of water drops in a blade channel: Numerical simulation of water drop erosion on turbine blades

Na LI, Qin Xin ZHAO*, Qulan ZHOU*, Xi CHEN, Tongmo XU, Shien HUI, Di ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Water drops formed in a steam turbine may impact the blade surface at a high speed, and the resulting erosion phenomenon is regarded as one of the primary reliability concerns of the turbine. The key factors governing water drop erosion include the impact position, impact frequency, and impact velocity, which are coupled with the fluid flow - these factors must be clarified in order to sufficiently understand the erosion mechanism. In this paper, based on the numerical solution of the flow field of wet steam in turbine, the mathematical models and numerical methods are established to analyze the movement of water drops in a blade channel. From the comprehensive statistical information of the impact deduced from detailed numerical simulations, the most severe water drop erosion regions and working conditions are identified. The study may shed some light on the mechanical integrity of turbine blades due to water drop erosion. © Freund Publishing House Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-221
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Turbo and Jet Engines
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The work is supported in part by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Contract No. 50928601), the National Basic Research Program of China (Contract No. 2005CB221206), and U.S. National Science Foundation CMS-0407743 and CMS-0643726, and in part by the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University.


  • Impact frequency
  • Impact velocity
  • Numerical simulation
  • Steam turbine
  • Water drop erosion


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