Cracking Mechanism and Retrofit Design of Governing Stage Blades for a Steam Turbine
Cracking of blade dovetails occurred in a governing stage of a 50MW steam turbines twice within 5 months. To find out the failure mechanism and measures to avoid the failure accident, one of the cracked blades has been inspected by the metallography and a scanning electronic microscope. The inspection results show that the cracking of the blade is caused by the high cycle fatigue. When governing stage blades are in operation, the vibration of blades can extend to platform or even to dovetail parts over radial supporting surfaces depending on temperature, centrifugal force and assembly tolerance. The calculated results by FEM show that not only natural frequencies of blades in operating are smaller than that in stationary but also the modal order shifts when the blade runs from stationary to operation states. The effect of mode shift on the failure was investigated. According to the conclusion, the blades have been retrofitted by increasing neck of dovetail to avoid dangerous resonance, and the blades have been operating in healthy condition for two years after the modification. Contrarily, if the phenomenon of mode shift were ignored, it would be difficult to find out the right reason of resonance and ways to retrofit the damaged blades.
Guanglin Wang, Huifeng Wang and Jun Liu
Z.L. Xu et al., "Cracking Mechanism and Retrofit Design of Governing Stage Blades for a Steam Turbine", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 392-394, pp. 967-974, 2009