Diagnosing Centrifugal Compressor Impeller Failures With Coupled CFD and FEA

A leading manufacturer of centrifugal compressors needed to understand the cause behind impeller failures experienced in an LNG train compressor. A first-stage leading edge impeller failure had occurred numerous times over a 5-year period. It was apparent that the steady-state CFD methodology employed by the client was not sufficient to uncover pressure and flow transients that could lead to vibration-induced fatigue failure of the impeller. Goyne Consulting assisted with application of transient CFD methods coupled with dynamic FEA of the impeller to determine the effect of dynamic pressures. The SAFE Diagram methodology was used to determine which modes of vibration were excited by the transient pressure distributions uncovered via full, transient CFD analysis.

Year: 2004 Client: Confidential
Fields: transient CFD, nonlinear FEA, multiphysics, failure analysis

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