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A Simple Model to Assess the Role of Dust Composition and Size on Deposition in Rotorcraft Engines

School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Aerospace 2019, 6(4), 44;
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotorcraft)
PDF [1625 KB, uploaded 16 April 2019]


There have been several recorded mishaps of rotorcraft experiencing flame-out due to engine surge as a result of rapid accumulation of sand and dust on nozzle guide vanes. Minerals such as sodium chloride and albite have lower melting points than quartz and are found to constitute some of the loose sediment on unprepared landing sites in the Persian Gulf. Despite this, they are not found in great abundance, if at all, in many of the test dusts that are used to qualify engines operating in harsh environments. The consequence is an under-prediction of the time to failure due to vane deposit build-up. In the current work, we use a simple model to demonstrate the sensitivity of accumulation efficiency (the proportion of ingested dust that sticks) to mineral dust physico-chemical properties. We utilise the concept of thermal Stokes number to examine the relationship between time to equilibrate and residence time and how this varies as a function of constituent mineral, as well as particle size. The likelihood of impact increases with momentum Stokes number, while the likelihood of adhesion decreases with thermal Stokes number, yet the two both increase with the square of particle diameter. This leads to a peak in deposition rate at a certain particle size. However, dust mineralogy is shown to influence sticking efficiency more than impact efficiency owing to differences in melting point. Finally, we apply our simple model to estimate the mass of dust deposited during a single brownout landing of a Pave Hawk helicopter, using two different commercially-available test dusts. View Full-Text
Keywords: brownout; erosion; deposition and fouling; engine degradation; engine performance brownout; erosion; deposition and fouling; engine degradation; engine performance

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Bojdo, N.; Filippone, A. A Simple Model to Assess the Role of Dust Composition and Size on Deposition in Rotorcraft Engines. Aerospace 2019, 6, 44.

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