A Small Review with a Big Context

This being my last post for 2017, I wanted to do a short review of what we have been discussing this year. During the beginning of the year, I decided to focus on the 3D analyses and capabilities that were implemented in our AxCFD and AxSTRESS modules for fluid and structural dynamics. With that in mind, my posts were tailored towards such, highlighting the importance of the right turbulence modelling for correct flow prediction. Among other topics, we studied the key factors that lead to resonance, the importance of not neglecting the energy transfer between fluid and structure, and the great advantage that increasing computing capacity offers to engineers in order to understand turbomachinery in depth. However, no matter how great the benefits are, the approximations and errors from CFD can still lead to high uncertainty. Together, we identified the most important factors, from boundary conditions all the way to mesh generation and simulation of cooling flows, and we put an emphasis on the necessary development of uncertainty quantification models. This 3D module related topic finished with an extensive article on fatigue in turbomachinery which plays a crucial role in the failure of the machine, and was the cause for many accidents in the past.

SoftInWay’s AxCFD Module

The second part of my posts focused on different industries that rely on turbomachinery as we tried to identify the challenges that they face. Being fascinated by the space industry along with the increasing interest of the global market for launching more rockets for different purposes, I started this chapter with the description of a liquid rocket propulsion system and how this can be designed or optimized using the AxSTREAM platform. Moving a step closer to earth, next I focused on the aerospace industry and the necessity for robust aircraft engines that are optimized, highly efficient, and absolutely safe. One of the articles that I enjoyed the most referred to helicopters and the constant threats that could affect the engine performance, the overall operation and the safety of the passengers. Dust, salt and ice are only a few of the elements that could affect the operation of the rotating components of the helicopter engine, which allows us understand how delicate this sophisticated and versatile aircraft is.

Helicopter landing on a desert
Helicopter landing on a desert – burnout threat

Going one further step closer to earth will take us to the ground and to power generation. Traditionally, both steam and gas turbines have been used in this industry. Nowadays, gas and steam turbines are contributing to more than 80% of the electricity generated worldwide. If we add the contribution from hydro turbines too, then we reach 98% of total production. A few articles were dedicated to these machines focusing not only on the design process with respect to flow path definition, but also on the definition of the aerodynamic shape of the blades, taking into account the complicated flow phenomena and the effect that the shape will have on other disciplines of the design. Cooling flow and secondary systems modelling was presented by the use of AxSTREAM NET, and an insight of leakage reductions was provided to achieve higher efficiency in varying machines.

Overall, myself as well as the whole SoftInWay team have put emphasis on a number of different industries that our software platform and services play an important role in. We’ve chosen to  analyze real world topics and challenges that are of interest for our clients and the whole turbomachinery community. For us, regardless of the machine size or application, we’re excited to take on new challenges and help pave the way towards future generations of turbomachinery technology. Our long standing experience in the turbomachinery field creates a strongest basis to keep challenging ourselves and addressing the needs of our clients and the larger turbomachinery community every day.

It was a pleasure keeping you updated with my posts and I am looking forward for 2018!

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