Case Study

Ensuring reliable operation – ice growth

Project Lead:
Dr Bruce Kakimpa
bruce.kakimpa@nortonstraw.com
+44 (0)1332 348844

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Challenge

Ice formation in a pressure measurement line was posing a control problem for a jet engine operating at high altitude.  Moisture would enter the line at low levels and then freeze as the aircraft rose, disabling a key measurement used for accurate control of the engine.  Our client needed to know how quickly the blockage would occur under different operating scenarios.

Our fluid dynamics team includes experts in icing, including the authors of the modelling software used in some of the worlds’ best-known Computational Dynamics Software. This team was quickly able to construct a transient CFD model that would mimic the problematic flight profiles, with approaches to accurately accelerate less critical phases. The ice was then allowed to grow and the extent recorded.
Our work
Outcome

It quickly became apparent that ice blockages were not certain to occur, but only happened in particular conditions.  Furthermore, it would be possible to alter the pressure line so that the ice formed in such a way that blockages would not occur at all.

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