Compressor fouling is one of the main causes of gas turbine performance degradation. Microsized particles adhere to the blade surfaces increasing the surface roughness and modifying the airfoil shape. In the present work, the contamination of the Allison 250 C18 multistage compressor engine with four sorts of micrometric dust has been provided. The tests were performed changing the relative humidity at the compressor inlet and the unit rotational speed.
After each test, a photographic inspection of the internal fouled parts has been realized and the digital pictures have been analyzed employing an image processing package. The deposits build-up of stator vanes and rotor blades have been post-processed and the most affected regions of each compressor stage have been highlighted. Besides, a numerical simulation of the machine has been performed. The numerical flow field has been used to highlight the blade regions which show the most favorable conditions for particle deposition. A theoretical model has been applied to the flow field to simulate the particle deposition. The combination of the deposition model with the results of the CFD simulations gives the chance to better understand the experimentally-founded deposition patterns. Those results have been finally compared to the pictures of the patterns. The possibility to detect and measure the deposition patterns on a rotating test rig and the comparison with models and experiments gave the possibility to assess in detail the particle deposition phenomenon on a multistage axial compressor flow path.