Advances in turbine materials, design and manufacturing by A. Strang, William M. Banks, R. D. Conroy, M. J. Goulette

By A. Strang, William M. Banks, R. D. Conroy, M. J. Goulette

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A. GEe ALSTHOM, MARLOW Large Steam Turbines, Newbold Road, Rugby CG21 2NH INTRODUCTION Within the last ten years the most notable development in the power industry has been the emergence of large combined cycle power stations matching the output of the traditional large steam turbine power stations. However this development is due to the availability of a new series of powerful (above 200 MW) gas turbines and the associated steam turbines are of low output and modest steam conditions and have required little technological development.

Much of the future increase will come from thermal barrier coatings and the development of ceramic matrix composite materials (CMCs). Also in the future there could be the possibility of embedding electrical machines in the engine, switch able from motors to generators, to drive or derive power from each engine shaft. This concept will be used to power active magnetic bearings, removing the need for complex mechanical bearing arrangements and the entire lubrication system, Fig. 19. By providing electrical power to the aircraft, gearboxes and accessories could be removed.

2 EVOLUTION OF WHITTLE'S CONCEPT Following these early developments the next major achievement was the Dart engine of the Vickers Viscount, Fig. 5, which embodied the simplicity of Whittle's jet engine with the turbopropeller concepts pursued by Griffiths. This engine entered service in 1948, selling 7146 engines of which over 2800 remain in service today. The continued use of these engines will make the Dart the first commercial gas turbine engine to reach its 50th anniversary in the year 2003.

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