Investigation of Rotor Blade Roughness Effects on Turbine Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
J. L. Boynton, R. Tabibzadeh

Rocketdyne Division, Rockwell International Corporation, Canoga Park, CA 91303

S. T. Hudson

NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812

J. Turbomach 115(3), 614-620 (Jul 01, 1993) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2929298 History: Received February 28, 1992; Online June 09, 2008


The cold air test program was completed on the SSME (Space Shuttle Main Engine) HPFTP (High-Pressure Fuel Turbopump) turbine with production nozzle vane rings and polished coated rotor blades with a smooth surface finish of 30 μin. (0.76 μm) rms (root mean square). The smooth blades were polished by an abrasive flow machining process. The test results were compared with the air test results from production rough-coated rotor blades with a surface finish of up to 400 μin. (10.16 μm) rms. Turbine efficiency was higher for the smooth blades over the entire range tested. Efficiency increased 2.1 percentage points at the SSME 104 percent RPL (Rated Power Level) conditions. This efficiency improvement could reduce the SSME HPFTP turbine inlet temperature by 57 R (32 K), increasing turbine durability. The turbine flow parameter increased and the midspan outlet swirl angle became more axial with the smooth rotor blades.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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