Liquid Erosion of Hydraulic Dynamometer Stator Vanes
Stator vanes (cast from a Cu-Mn-Al alloy) in a hydraulic dynamometer used in a steam-turbine test facility were severely eroded. The dynamometer was designed to absorb up to 51 MW (69,000 hp) at 3670 rpm, and constituted an extrapolation of previous design practices and experience. Its stator was subject to severe erosion after relatively short operating times and initially required replacement after each test program. Although up to 60 cu cm (3.7 cu in.) of material was being lost from each vane, it only reduced the power-absorption capacity by a small amount. Analysis supported the conclusion that the damage was due to liquid erosion, but it could not be firmly established whether it was caused by cavitation or by liquid impact. Recommendations included making a material substitution (to Mo-13Cr-4Ni stainless steel) and doing a redesign to reduce susceptibility to erosion as well as erosion-producing conditions.