Prediction of fatigue life of mistuned steam turbine blades subjected to variations in blade geometry
Keywords:Turbine Blades, Blade Geometry, Low-Pressure, Finite Element Analysis, Fe-Safe, Fatigue Life
There is a large number of power stations suffering from fatigue failures of the steam turbine blades. The steam turbine blades are also subjected to steam flow bending, centrifugal loading, vibration response, and structural mistuning. These mentioned factors significantly contribute to the fatigue failure of the steam turbine blades. Low-Pressure (LP) steam turbines experience premature blade and disk failures due to the stress concentrations at the blade root area of its bladed disk. Driven by the problems encountered by the steam power plant electricity generating utilities with regards to steam turbine blades fatigue failure, this study of the mistuned steam turbine blades subjected to variation in blade geometry will be of great significance to the electricity generation industry. A simplified, scaled-down mistuned steam turbine bladed disk model was developed using ABAQUS finite element analysis (FEA) software. Acquisition of the vibration characteristics and steady-state stress response of the disk models was performed through FEA. Thereafter, numerical stress distributions were acquired, and the model was subsequently exported to Fe-Safe software for fatigue life calculations based on centrifugal and harmonic sinusoidal pressure loading. The vibration characteristics and the response of the variation steam turbine geometric blade was conducted. The FEA natural frequencies compared well with published literature of the real steam turbines indicating reliability of the developed FEA model. The study found that the fatigue life is most sensitive to changes in blade length, followed by the width, and then the thickness, in this order. The analytical life cycles and Fe-Safe software shows the percentage difference of less than 4.86%. This concludes that the developed numerical methodology can be used for real-life mistuned steam turbine blades subjected to variations in blade geometry.