Combustion turbine blade design criteria can generally be classified as either temperature or fatigue related. Since less is usually known about the factors influencing the fatigue phenomenon, it is considered the more challenging. In addition, as analytical and experimental techniques became more sophisticated and more accurate, the natural tendency was to replace archaic “guidelines” or “rules” with less conservative approaches that at times led to the discovery of new high-cycle fatigue “thresholds.” This paper presents the evolution of the combustion turbine blade high cycle fatigue design criteria for free-standing blades. It also presents the analysis and corrective actions taken to resolve several unique combustion turbine blade fatigue problems, all encountered over a 35-year period while the author has been employed at Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Included are high-cycle fatigue problems due to cooling air leakage, seal pin friction, and combustion temperature maldistribution, as well as flow-induced nonsynchronous vibration.

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