Aero-thermal analysis of combustor/turbine interaction in aero-engines: the challenge of today

Design practice for future development of aero-engines will take into account component interaction from both the aero-thermal and the aero-acoustic point of view. In particular, improved understanding of physical phenomena characterizing combustor/turbine interaction (including metal parts) will enable a further optimization of such components, leading to an increased performance of the new generation of engines. Lean-burn combustion technology has been identified to be the key methodology for gas turbine combustion systems to achieve legislative requirements for NOx emissions. Currently, it is a mature technology in the power generation field but is still on advanced phases of development for aero engines [1][2]. Combustors on which this type of combustion is implemented are characterized, in general, by high swirl numbers in order to provide adequate flame stabilization. Moreover, they are characterized by a reduction, or total absence, of dilution jets upstream of the turbine entry section. Such peculiarities make the aero-thermal field on the combustor/turbine interface very aggressive, being characterized by temperature non-uniformities, residual swirl and high turbulence intensity. Despite a large number of studies have been dedicated to the present topic in scientific literature in the past, especially concerning hot streaks migration in turbine stages, comprehensive studies of the combustor/turbine interaction are still very limited. Given the growing interest in the topic by industry, a common platform for the numerical investigation of the aero-thermal aspects that characterize combustor/turbine interaction is provided.