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Title:
DIVOT FOR OUTER CASE SHROUD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/063635
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention concerns a turbine exhaust casing (TEC) for a gas turbine engine in which portions of the inner surface of the casing against which exhaust gas flows are provided with recesses extending into the surfaces. The recesses are positioned proximate to the leading edges of struts which extend between an outer shroud and inner hub of the casing.

Inventors:
STRÖMBERG, Henrik (Trollhättan, SE-461 81, SE)
REMBECK, Martin (Trollhättan, SE-461 81, SE)
NORDSTRÖM, Mikael (Trollhättan, SE-461 81, SE)
Application Number:
EP2018/076164
Publication Date:
April 04, 2019
Filing Date:
September 26, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GKN AEROSPACE SWEDEN AB (S Trollhättan, SE-461 81, SE)
International Classes:
F01D25/16; F02C3/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014105100A12014-07-03
WO2014105599A12014-07-03
WO2014105621A12014-07-03
WO2015142200A12015-09-24
Foreign References:
EP2365191A22011-09-14
JP2004052598A2004-02-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALBUTT, Anthony (D Young & Co LLP, 120 Holborn, London EC1N 2DY, EC1N 2DY, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A turbine exhaust casing for a gas turbine engine comprising an outer generally cylindrical shroud and an inner generally cylindrical hub and a plurality of struts extending radially between the shroud and the hub, each strut intersecting with the shroud at a first end and the hub at an opposing end, wherein the outer surface of the hub and the opposing inner surface of the shroud define a channel through which gas may pass, and wherein a portion of the surface of the channel at the intersection of the channel and strut is recessed with respect to the surface of the channel surrounding the intersection.

2. A casing as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the recess(es) extend radially outwards at the intersection of strut and shroud and radially inwards at the intersection of strut and hub.

3. A casing as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the recess(es) is/are in the form of a generally concave recess extending into the surface of channel and comprising a continuous and smooth surface.

4. A casing as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the periphery of the recess(es) intersect(s) with the surrounding surface of the channel as a continuous and smooth surface.

5. A casing as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the strut intersects with shroud and hub with a smooth radius (R) extending between the outer surface of the strut and the generally cylindrical inner surfaces of the shroud and hub and further intersects with the continuous and smooth surface of a respective recess.

6. A casing as claimed in claim 5, wherein:

the radius has a radius of RF

the strut has a maximum width measured perpendicular to its length of Sw the strut has a length between its leading edge and a point of maximum thickness (Sw) of the strut of SA; and

wherein the outer periphery of each recess is located within a region defined by:

(a) 2 x SA from the leading edge of the strut measured away from the strut in an upstream or downstream direction; and

(b) (Sw + RF)/2 measured perpendicularly from a centre line running through the strut between a leading and trailing edge of a strut.

7. A casing as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the recess(es) extend along an upstream portion of the inner surface of the channel away from the leading edge of a strut measured in a gas flow direction through the casing. 8. A casing as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the recess(es) extend along a downstream portion of the inner surface of the channel away from the trailing edge of a strut measured in a gas flow direction through the casing.

9. A casing as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein all or a sub-set of struts are provided with recesses proximate to a leading or trailing edge thereof.

10. A casing as claimed in any preceding claim, where the shroud has an outer surface and wherein a portion of the shroud outer surface aligning with the position of the recess on the inner shroud surface is provided with an increased shroud wall thickness over an area corresponding to the area of the recess.

1 1 . A casing as claimed in claim 10, wherein the increased shroud wall thickness is in the form of a generally convex portion corresponding generally in shape to the concave recess on the inner surface of the shroud.

12. A casing as claimed in claim 10 or 1 1 , wherein the recess and increased shroud wall thickness are complimentary such that the wall thickness of the shroud is at least as thick as the wall thickness of the remaining parts of the shroud wall. 13. A casing as claimed in any of claims 10 to 12, in which t = shroud case thickness without a modified recess)

d = the thickness of the shroud measured from the deepest part of the recess to the most protruding part of the reinforcement portion or pad

e = the depth of the recess measured from the inner surface; and

r = the radius of the fillet of curvature at which the recess intersects with the leading edge of the strut;

and wherein; d >= t

t > e > 0

r >= the normal fillet radius between the strut and the shroud/hub.

14. A turbine exhaust casing comprising an inner hub portion and an outer shroud portion and plurality of struts extending radially between the hub and shroud portions, each strut having a leading edge arranged in use to face an upstream direction of gas flow and a trailing edge arranged in use to face a downstream direction of gas slow, wherein

an inner surface of the shroud immediately adjacent to the leading edge of a strut is provided with a recess extending into the shroud inner surface; and

an outer surface of the shroud is provided with a reinforcement at a position on the shroud outer surface corresponding to the recess on the inner surface.

15. A method of forming an exhaust gas casing for a gas turbine engine,

the casing comprising an outer generally cylindrical shroud and an inner generally cylindrical hub and a plurality of struts extending radially between the shroud and the hub, each strut intersecting with the shroud at a first end and the hub at an opposing end, wherein the outer surface of the hub and the opposing inner surface of the shroud define a channel through which gas may pass,

said method comprising the step of forming a recess in a portion of the surface of the channel at the intersection of the channel and strut, wherein the recess extends radially inwards or radially outwards into the surface of the channel with respect to the surface of the channel surrounding the intersection.

16. A method as claimed in claim 15, wherein the recess(es) is/are in the form of a generally concave recess extending into the surface of channel and comprising a continuous and smooth surface.

Description:
Divot for Outer Case Shroud

Background

The present invention is concerned with an improved shroud casing for a gas turbine engine.

Gas turbine components, such as for example a turbine exhaust casing (TEC), are subjected to extreme temperature differentials during operation. For example, a TEC may be elevated from ambient temperature conditions to temperatures in excess of 600 degrees C during operation. Aircraft engines are particularly prone to high temperatures during a taxi to or from a run-way when airflow can be low and ambient air temperature high. These temperature differentials can create thermally induced stresses in the engine components such as the shroud casing. The problem is compounded over time by the cyclical effect of loading which can dramatically reduce fatigue life.

To address these conditions components such as the TEC must be designed to accommodate high temperatures and high stresses. Of particular concern to aero engine designers are the portions of the TEC where the radial struts (connecting the outer shroud to the inner hub) are mechanically connected at either end to the shroud and hub. The connection of struts to shroud and hub must be carefully engineered to accommodate the cyclical loads and temperatures whilst also optimising the aerodynamic performance of the TEC. The TEC is designed such that the struts have an aerodynamic profile which acts to control the exhaust gas leaving the combustors without inhibiting exhaust gas flow.

The present inventors have established a new and counterintuitive approach to TEC design and in particular an arrangement which reduces the stress at the interface between the strut and shroud and enhances fatigue life. This thereby allows for material optimisation which ultimately allows for a reduction in the weight of the TEC (or similar casing component) and overall engine weight.

Although the invention is primarily concerned with a turbine exhaust casing it will be recognised that the arrangement may equally be applied to other static casing components in a gas turbine engine, generator or a compressor.

The skilled reader will be familiar with the operation and construction of a gas turbine engine. However, to summarise the operation, a typical engine comprises a pair of compressors, namely a first upstream low pressure compressor and a second, downstream, high pressure compressor. The pair of compressors compress air entering the air intake of the engine in two-stages before the compressed gas is communicated into the combustors where fuel is introduced and combusted with the compressed air. Exhaust gas leaving the combustors impinges first on a high pressure turbine (which rotates the compressors) and then secondly on a low pressure turbine (which rotates the fan of a turbofan engine). Exhaust gas then leaves the rear of the engine.

The exhaust gas exiting the low pressure turbine leaves the aft of the turbine through a turbine exhaust casing (TEC). The operation of a gas turbine engine is well known to a person skilled in the art who will also be familiar with the arrangement of a conventional TEC which comprises an inner circumferential casing portion (a hub portion) and an outer circumferential casing portion (a shroud portion).

A plurality of radially extending struts extend between the inner hub and the outer shroud and provide structural support between the two portions. The struts are mechanically coupled to the hub at a radially inward end (measured from a central rotational axis of the engine) and to the shroud at a radially outward end (again measured from the central rotational axis of the engine).

An invention described herein is concerned with the design of these struts and furthermore how they are coupled to the hub and shroud.

Summary of the Invention

Aspects of the invention are set out in the accompanying claims. According to a first aspect there is provided a turbine exhaust casing for a gas turbine engine comprising an outer generally cylindrical shroud and an inner generally cylindrical hub and a plurality of struts extending radially between the shroud and the hub, each strut intersecting with the shroud at a first end and the hub at an opposing end, wherein the outer surface of the hub and the opposing inner surface of the shroud define a channel through which gas may pass, and wherein a portion of the surface of the channel at the intersection of the channel and strut is recessed with respect to the surface of the channel surrounding the intersection.

Thus, according to an invention described herein the inner surface of the flow channel is adapted in a counterintuitive way. Specifically, the normally uninterrupted inner surface of the flow channel is provided with radially inwardly extending or radially outwardly extending recesses or 'divots' in a predetermined zone adjacent to a leading or trailing edge of a strut or vane. Another way to define the recess is a smooth concave zone formed into the channel surface. The concave zones may be located at four positions with respect to the respective strut or vane as follows:

Extending radially inwards into the hub at a leading edge (LE) or trailing edge (TE) of a vane or strut; or

Extending radially outwards into the shroud at a leading edge or trailing edge of a vane or strut.

The concave zones or recesses may extend radially outwards at the intersection of strut and shroud and radially inwards at the intersection of strut and hub.

Advantageously the recesses may be in the form of a generally concave recess extending into the surface of channel (that is the hub or shroud) and comprise a continuous and smooth surface. Specifically the recesses may be configured to have a substantially smooth intersection with the area of channel surrounding the recess. This advantageously minimises any aerodynamic disruption and maintains a laminar flow of air over the surface of the channel and recess. Conventionally any interference with the inner surface of the air channel has been carefully avoided. However, the presently described change in profile of the channel at the leading and/or trailing edges of the strut or vane reduces the stress which is induced within the strut or vane during operation of the engine. This allows the strut to be smaller and lighter since it is not required to withstand higher loads. Given that there are a plurality of such struts in the TEC this can make a significant contribution to weight reduction in the engine.

As described above, to minimise any detrimental effect of the recesses in the channel the recess is arranged to merge smoothly and continuously with the surface of the channel. This prevents delamination and optimises the advantageous effects of the invention.

Specifically, the periphery of the recess(es) intersect(s) with the surrounding surface of the channel as a continuous and smooth surface. Thus, the strut intersects with shroud and hub with a smooth radius (R) extending between the outer surface of the strut and the generally cylindrical inner surfaces of the shroud and hub and further intersects with the continuous and smooth surface of a respective recess.

The inventors have established that the following characteristics allow for an optimal arrangement of strut and casing profile: the radius of curvature between the strut and the normal surface of the channel has a radius of R F

the strut has a maximum width measured perpendicular to its length of S w - the strut has a length between its leading edge and a point of maximum thickness (S w ) of the strut of S A ; and wherein the outer periphery of each recess is located within a region defined by:

(a) 2 x S A from the leading edge of the strut measured away from the strut in an upstream or downstream direction; and

(b) (Sw + RF)/2 measured perpendicularly from a centre line running through the strut between a leading and trailing edge of a strut.

The inventors have established that locating a recess within this boundary allows the strut to be optimised for strength by minimising the stress which is induced in the strut in use. In will be recognised that when the invention is applied to the leading edge of a strut, the recess(es) extend along an upstream portion of the inner surface of the channel away from the leading edge of a strut measured in a gas flow direction through the casing. Conversely, when the invention is applied to a trailing edge of a strut, the recess(es) extend along a downstream portion of the inner surface of the channel away from the trailing edge of a strut measured in a gas flow direction through the casing.

The recesses may be advantageously applied to each or a subset of the four locations of hub/shroud and leading and trailing edges. Furthermore, depending on the specific engine design, all or a sub-set of struts are provided with recesses proximate to a leading or trailing edge thereof. Thus the invention can be applied selectively to the struts to optimise a given engine. An aspect of an invention thus extends to an engine having non-uniform struts i.e. a sub-set of struts that incorporate a recess and a second sub-set that do not.

A portion of the shroud surrounding the channel may also be provided with a modified profile. Specifically, a portion of the shroud outer surface aligning with the position of the recess on the inner shroud surface may be provided with an increased shroud wall thickness over an area corresponding to the area of the recess. In effect an outer surface of the shroud may have a convex portion on an outer surface mirroring the recess formed on the inner surface. Thus, the wall thickness of the shroud can be maintained whilst benefiting from the advantages of the recess on the inner surface. The increased shroud wall thickness may be in the form of a generally convex portion corresponding generally in shape to the concave recess on the inner surface of the shroud.

The inventors have also established that the following relationship maintains the shroud strength whilst allowing the advantages of the invention applied to the inner surface of the channel to be realised. Specifically, when

t = shroud case thickness without a modified recess;

d = the thickness of the shroud measured from the deepest part of the recess to the most protruding part of the reinforcement portion or pad;

e = the depth of the recess measured from the inner surface; and

r = the radius of the fillet of curvature at which the recess intersects with the leading edge of the strut; the the following relationship should be met: d >= t

t > e > 0

r >= the normal fillet radius between the strut and the shroud/hub.

In one embodiment the increase in thickness of the shroud from an un-modified shroud thickness (reference c in figure 6) may be between 3 and 5 mm. Advantageously this may be 4mm. Similarly the change in depth of the recess on the inner surface of the shroud (reference e in figure 6) may be between 1 mm and 1 .6mm. Advantageously this may be 1 .3mm.

Viewed from another aspect there is provided a turbine exhaust casing comprising an inner hub portion and an outer shroud portion and plurality of struts extending radially between the hub and shroud portions, each strut having a leading edge arranged in use to face an upstream direction of gas flow and a trailing edge arranged in use to face a downstream direction of gas flow, wherein an inner surface of the shroud immediately adjacent to the leading edge of a strut is provided with a recess extending into the shroud inner surface; and an outer surface of the shroud is provided with a reinforcement at a position on the shroud outer surface corresponding to the recess on the inner surface.

Viewed from a still further aspect, there is provided a method of forming an exhaust gas casing for a gas turbine engine, the casing comprising an outer generally cylindrical shroud and an inner generally cylindrical hub and a plurality of struts extending radially between the shroud and the hub, each strut intersecting with the shroud at a first end and the hub at an opposing end, wherein the outer surface of the hub and the opposing inner surface of the shroud define a channel through which gas may pass, said method comprising the step of forming a recess in a portion of the surface of the channel at the intersection of the channel and strut, wherein the recess extends radially inwards or radially outwards into the surface of the channel with respect to the surface of the channel surrounding the intersection.

As described herein with respect to the apparatus, it will be recognised that the recess(es) may advantageously be in the form of a generally concave recess extending into the surface of the channel and comprising a continuous and smooth surface.

Modifying the inner surface of the channel (and optionally the outer surface of the shroud) as described herein allows the engine design to be further optimised. Any saving on the size and weight of the strut can have a significant impact on the overall efficiency of the engine over its operational life. The invention also provides for improved fuel efficiency through reduced weight and reduced material usage.

Drawings

Aspects of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying figures in which:

Figure 1 shows an aft looking forward view of an exhaust gas casing;

Figure 2 shows a side elevation of one of the struts 7; Figure 3 is a cross-section through a shroud in which the leading edge and trailing edge are shown;

Figure 4 is a plan view of the outer surface of the shroud viewed radially inwards; Figure 5 is a cross-section through section A-A' in figure 4;

Figure 6 is an additional cross-sectional view of the leading edge of the strut;

Figure 7 illustrates the respective positions of the recesses on the leading edge (R1 and R2) and on the trailing edge (R3 and R4);

Figure 8 illustrates the boundary of the zone into which a recess is formed according to the invention; and Figure 9 and 10 illustrate views of the shroud and hub respectively incorporating the reinforcements and recesses.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments are shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood however that drawings and detailed description attached hereto are not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed but rather the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the claimed invention. It will be recognised that the features of the aspects of the invention(s) described herein can conveniently and interchangeably be used in any suitable combination. It will also be recognised that the invention covers not only individual embodiments but also combinations of the embodiments that have been discussed herein. Detailed Description

Figure 1 shows an aft looking forward view of an exhaust gas casing 1 suitable for use in a gas turbine engine. Such a component will be well known to the person skilled in the art of gas turbine engines.

The casing 1 is formed of an outer ring or shroud 2 and a radially inwardly located hub 3 concentric with the shroud 2. Both shroud and hub are concentric with a centrally located and rotatable shaft (not shown) that runs along the length of the engine and is located in the central space 4 within the hub 3. The hub 3 locates bearings and other equipment which support the shaft and allow it to rotate.

The shroud 2 is provided with a plurality of lugs 5 which provide structural couplings to connect the engine to the body of the aircraft.

The radial space between the shroud and the hub defines an annular channel 6 through which gas (exhaust gas in the case of an exhaust gas casing) may pass. Extending between the shroud and hub are a plurality of struts or vanes 7 (described in more detail below). The struts or vanes 7 serve a number of purposes.

First, the struts provide a mechanical coupling connecting the shroud and hub together and rigidly spacing the shroud from the hub (which itself supports the rotating shaft of the engine). This provides an aft end support and coupling for the engine.

Secondly, the struts or vanes 7 each have an aerodynamic profile to turn the swirling air leaving the combustors towards an axial outlet direction i.e. directing exhaust gas out of the back of the engine. This is described in more detail below. Each of the struts 7 has a leading edge, that is an up-stream edge against which the exhaust gas first impinges and a trailing edge, that is the edge downstream of the leading edge.

An invention described herein is concerned with a modification to the casing at the portions of the casing at which the strut meets (or intersects) with the shroud at one end and hub the hub at the other. More specifically the casing is modified to incorporate recesses or depressions proximate to the points at which the struts meet the hub or shroud.

Figure 2 shows a side elevation of one of the struts 7. Each strut 7 has a leading edge 9 in a forward direction of the engine and a trailing edge 10 in an aft direction of the engine. A radially inward end 1 1 of the strut 7 is coupled to the hub 3 and at an opposing end of the strut 7 a radially outward end 12 of the strut is coupled to the shroud 2 as shown in figure 2. An invention disclosed herein is concerned with portions of the inner surface of the casing (illustrated by reference 13 in figure 2) where the leading or trailing edges of the strut meet the inner surface 14 of the channel.

Figure 3 is a cross-section through a strut in which the leading edge 9 and trailing edge 10 are shown. The recess or depression 8 formed into the channel surface 14 is also shown. In the example shown in figure 3 the depression is only shown at the leading edge. However, the depression may be positioned at either the leading edge, trailing edge or both

Figure 4 is a plan view of the outer surface of the shroud viewed radially inwards. Figure 4 illustrates the reinforcement portion 16 which will be described with reference to figure 5. Figure 5 is a cross-section through section A-A' in figure 4. Figure 5 illustrates the point at which the strut 7 intersects with the shroud 2 and the way the recess or depression 8 is integrated into the surface geometry of the channel surface 14.

As shown in figure 5 the normal geometry of the shroud is shown by dotted line 8' on the inner surface of the shroud and by 16' on the outer surface.

Reference 8 shows the recess extending radially outwardly and into the channel surface. The recess 8 defines a smooth and uninterrupted surface extending from the upstream channel wall at reference A to the leading edge 9 of the strut at reference B.

A smooth and continuous profile is provided which can be sub-divided into three regions L1 , L2 and L3.

Region L1 represents a straight portion of the leading edge of the strut;

Region L2 represents the smooth curvature of the recess or divot at the intersection of strut and recess; and

Region L3 represents the upstream portion of the recess which intersects with the upstream channel inner surface at reference A. Each of the three regions intersects smoothly with the next providing a continuous smooth surface that leaves the channel inner surface and extends, in a curve, radially outwards into the thickness of the shroud immediately before the intersection of strut and inner shroud surface. In effect material is removed from the root of the strut at a point at which it meets the shroud.

As shown in figures 4 and 5 the shroud may be optionally provided with an outer reinforcement portion or pad 16 which effectively thickens the shroud at a portion corresponding to the recess located on the opposing inner surface of the shroud.

Figure 6 is an additional cross-sectional view of the leading edge of the strut incorporating the recess or depression. The enlarged portion of figure 6 illustrates the relationship within the thickness of the shroud according to the modified shroud arrangement described herein.

The shroud thickness at the intersection of the strut and the shroud is arranged according to the following parameters where t = shroud case thickness without a modified recess)

d = the thickness of the shroud measured from the deepest part of the recess to the most protruding part of the reinforcement portion or pad

e = the depth of the recess measured from the inner surface; and

r = the radius of the fillet of curvature at which the recess intersects with the leading edge of the strut

The following applies: d >= t

t > e > 0

r >= the normal fillet radius between the strut and the shroud/hub

Figure 7 illustrates the respective positions of the recesses on the leading edge (R1 and R2) and on the trailing edge (R3 and R4). The reinforcement portions of pads may be optionally introduced on the outer surface of the shroud at positions corresponding to R1 and R4.

The position of the recess or depression will now be described with reference to figure 8 which is a cross-section through a portion of a strut proximate to the intersection of the strut and shroud or hub. As described herein the recess or depression takes the form of a change in the surface profile of the channel in the area immediately upstream of the leading edge or immediately downstream of the trailing edge. In the case of a recess at a leading edge of a strut the recess is formed of two portions (a) the smooth fillet or radius that intersects with the radially extending leading edge of the strut and (b) the smooth and continuous surface that extends from the fillet or radius and joins the inner surface of the channel upstream of the radius. In the case of a recess at a trailing edge the recess is inverted i.e. there is (a) an upstream smooth fillet or radius that intersects with the radially extending trailing edge of the strut and (b) a smooth and continuous surface that extends from the fillet or radius and joins the inner surface of the channel downstream of the radius. In both cases the recess must be contained within a zone either upstream of the leading edge or downstream of the trailing edge. This zone or region is described with reference to figure 8.

Specifically, as illustrated in figure 8, the zone is defined as follows: the radius has a radius of R F

the strut has a maximum width measured perpendicular to its length of S w the strut has a length between its leading edge and a point of maximum thickness (S w ) of the strut of S A ; and wherein the outer periphery of each recess is located within a region defined by:

(a) 2 x S A from the leading edge of the strut measured away from the strut in an upstream or downstream direction; and

(b) (Sw + RF)/2 measured perpendicularly from a centre line running through the strut between a leading and trailing edge of a strut.

Figures 9 and 10 illustrate views of the shroud and hub respectively incorporating the reinforcements and recesses. The inventors have established that locating the recesses within the zone shown in figure 8 and also illustrated in figure 10 provides a surprising technical effect in that the strength and fatigue life of the strut can be improved. Surprisingly, introducing a recess in the specific location described herein not only provides the advantages discussed herein but is not detrimental to the airflow within the casing. Convention dictates that the inner surfaces of the cases must not be interrupted owing to the disruption to the air flow. However, the inventors has established that applying the criteria set out herein allows the advantages of improved strength to be realised whilst not encountering airflow problems.