Development of phosphor thermometry systems for use in development gas turbine engines

  • Ashiq Khalid

    Student thesis: Doctor of Engineering


    The pursuit for improved engine efficiency is driving the demand for accurate temperature measurement inside turbine engines. Accurate measurement can allow engines to be operated closer to their design limits to improve thermal efficiency. It can enable engineers to verify mechanical integrity, provide better prediction of component life, validate CFD and other design tools and aid the development for leaner more efficient engines. Unfortunately, experimentally measuring surface temperatures under harsh rotating conditions is challenging. This EngD study conducted by Ashiq Hussain Khalid at the University of Manchester and Rolls-Royce plc, reviews the rationale of using phosphor thermometry over existing methods, including thermocouples, pyrometry and thermal paints/melts, which lack detail, accuracy, or are too expensive for continuous testing. Although phosphor thermometry exhibits desirable characteristics, the high temperature and fast rotating engine environment presents some challenges that would need to be addressed before a successful measurement system can be implemented. Examples of such issues include: rising blackbody radiation, restricted optical access, fibre optic constraints and limited time period to collect data. These factors will impose measurement limits and greatly influence the design philosophy of the system, including phosphor choice, phosphor lifetime characteristics, bonding technique, excitation/detection methodologies and probe design. Taking these into consideration, the research focuses on the development of phosphor thermometry systems for use in development gas turbine engines, with measurement solutions for specific engine components. The high pressure turbine blade was given research priority.A number of phosphors including YAG:Tb, YAG:Tm. Y2O3:Eu and Mg3F2GeO4:Mn were investigated and characterised in terms of intensity and lifetime decay, with increasing temperature up to 1500oC. Spectral analysis and absolute intensity measurements established emission peaks and permitted comparative quantitative analysis to optimise system setup. The intensity of phosphor emission relative to Planck's blackbody radiation was also performed. YAG:Tm under 355nm illumination was found to exhibit the highest emission intensity at high temperatures, and because its spectral emission peak at 458nm was the lowest, its advantage in terms of blackbody radiation was further amplified. For rotating components, an upper temperature limit is reached based on the emission intensity at rising blackbody radiation levels and the system's ability to detect fast decays. A lower limit is reached based on the quenching temperature, probe design and rotational velocity. There are different methods to correct the distorted decay waveform as it traverses through the acceptance cone of the fibre. A phosphor selection criterion, taking into consideration these limitations, was successfully applied for various rotating engine components. The optical layout was setup and tested on stationary and rotating cases under laboratory conditions using similar design constraints, including fibre choice, maximum permissible lens size and target distances. A series of tests validated design methodologies and assumptions to enable testing on full scale rotating engine components.Mg3F2GeO4:Mn, using 355nm illumination, was found to be the most suitable phosphor for the HP drive cone. The estimated performance under the expected rotational speeds was found to be 624-812oC with a standard uncertainty of ±0.99%. YAG:Tm, illuminated with 355nm, was found to be the most promising phosphor for high pressure turbine blade measurements. The performance under the expected rotational speeds was found to be 1117-1375oC with a standard uncertainty of ±0.97%. This is better than other competing technologies that are currently available for temperature measurement of rotating turbine blades.
    Date of Award31 Dec 2011
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorKonstantinos Kontis (Supervisor)


    • emissions
    • decay
    • intensity
    • spectral
    • Mg3F2GeO4:Mn
    • blackbody
    • fibre optic
    • transmission
    • lifetime
    • radiation
    • fiber optic
    • YAG:Dy
    • YAG:Tb
    • YAG:Tm
    • phosphor
    • thermometry
    • fluorescence
    • temperature
    • luminescence
    • turbine
    • surface
    • laser
    • systems
    • aeroengine

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