The final target of this study was to achieve a better understanding of the behaviour of thermally sprayed abradable seals such as AlSi/polyester composites. These coatings are used as seals between the static and rotating parts in gas turbine applications. The machinability of the composite coatings during the friction of the blades depends on their mechanical and thermal effective properties. In order to predict these properties from micrographs, numerical studies were performed with different software packages such as OOF developed by NIST and TS2C developed at the UTBM. In 2008, differences were reported concerning prediction of effective thermal conductivity obtained with the two codes. In the present paper, it is shown that a particular attention must be paid to the mathematical formulation of the problem. In particular, results obtained with a finite difference method using a cell centre approach or a nodal formulation, allow explaining the discrepancies previously noticed. A comparison of the predictions of computed effective thermal conductivities is thus proposed for different codes and different meshing methods. This study is part of the NEWAC project, funded by the European Commission within the 6th RTD Framework program (FP6).

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