Turbine Blade Cooling, CATER, Mark Ricklick, Impingement Cooling, Power Generation


Gas turbines have become an intricate part of today's society. Besides powering practically all 200,000+ passenger aircraft in use today, they are also a predominate form of power generation when coupled with a generator. The fact that they are highly efficient, and capable of large power to weight ratios, makes gas turbines an ideal solution for many power requirement issues faced today. Designers have even been able to develop small, micro-turbines capable of producing efficient portable power. Part of the turbine's success is the fact that their efficiency levels have continuously risen since their introduction in the early 1800's. Along with improvements in our understanding and designs of the aerodynamic components of the turbine, as well as improvements in the areas of material design and combustion control, advances in component cooling techniques have predominantly contributed to this success. This is the result of a simple thermodynamic concept; as the turbine inlet temperature is increased, the overall efficiency of the machine increases as well. Designers have exploited this fact to the extent that modern gas turbines produce rotor inlet temperatures beyond the melting point of the sophisticated materials used within them. This has only been possible through the use of sophisticated cooling techniques, particularly in the 1st stage vanes and blades. Some of the cooling techniques employed today have been internal cooling channels enhanced with various features, film and showerhead cooling, as well as internal impingement cooling scenarios. Impingement cooling has proven to be one of the most capable heat removal processes, and the combination of this cooling feature with that of channel flow, as is done in impingement channel cooling, creates a scenario that has understandably received a great deal of attention in recent years. This study has investigated several of the unpublished characteristics of these impingement channels, including the channel height effects on the performance of the channel side walls, effects of bulk temperature increase on heat transfer coefficients, circumferential heat variation effects, and effects on the uniformity of the heat transfer distribution. The main objectives of this dissertation are to explore the various previously unstudied characteristics of impingement channels, in order to sufficiently predict their performance in a wide range of applications. The potential exists, therefore, for a designer to develop a blade with cooling characteristics specifically tailored to the expected component thermal loads. Temperature sensitive paint (TSP) is one of several non-intrusive optical temperature measurements techniques that have gained a significant amount of popularity in the last decade. By employing the use of TSP, we have the ability to provide very accurate (less than 1 degree Celsius uncertainty), high resolution full-field temperature measurements. This has allowed us to investigate the local heat transfer characteristics of the various channel surfaces under a variety of steady state testing conditions. The comparison of thermal performance and uniformity for each impingement channel configuration then highlights the benefits and disadvantages of various configurations. Through these investigations, it has been shown that the channel side walls provide heat transfer coefficients comparable to those found on the target surface, especially at small impingement heights. Although the side walls suffer from highly non-uniform performance near the start of the channel, the profiles become very uniform as the cross flow develops and becomes a dominating contributor to the heat transfer coefficient. Increases in channel height result in increased non-uniformity in the streamwise direction and decreased heat transfer levels. Bulk temperature increases have also been shown to be an important consideration when investigating surfaces dominated by cross flow heat transfer effects, as enhancements up to 80% in some areas may be computed. Considerations of these bulk temperature changes also allow the determination of the point at which the flow transitions from an impingement dominated regime to one that is dominated by cross flow effects. Finally, circumferential heat variations have proven to have negligible effects on the calculated heat transfer coefficient, with the observed differences in heat transfer coefficient being contributed to the unaccounted variations in channel bulk temperature.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date



Kapat, Jayanta S.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering








Release Date

February 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)