September 2011, Vol. 238 No. 9


Gas Turbine Compressor Blade Fouling Mechanisms

Fouling of compressor blades is an important mechanism leading to performance deterioration in gas turbines over time. Fouling is caused by the adherence of particles to airfoils and annulus surfaces. Particles that cause fouling are typically smaller than 2 to 10 ?m. Compressor fouling is due to the size, amount, and chemical nature of the aerosols in the inlet air flow, dust, insects, organic matter such as seeds from trees, rust or scale from the inlet ductwork, carryover from a media type evaporative cooler, deposits from dissolved solids in a water spray inlet cooling system, oil from leaky compressor bearing seals, ingestion of the stack gas or plumes from nearby cooling t

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