team photo

Figure 1
project photo

Figure 2
project photo

Team 45

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Malcolm Honeyford
Michael Schaake
Maham Tanveer
Raymond Sanderson

Dr. Xinyu Zhao


Pratt & Whitney

sponsored by
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This project aims to determine the film heat transfer coefficient on a rotating disk.  A convection coefficient is not a measurable quantity and  therefore it must be determined through analysis and experiment.  In the spirit of this, the film HTC is calculated via experimental temperature data, a governing heat transfer equation, and a curve-fit tool. One of the project’s primary deliverables is to ensure the rig can induce Reynolds numbers between 4.5 x 106 to 2.5 x 107.  Reynolds numbers in this range reflect the operating conditions of the turbine and compressor sections of modern aero engines. Previous ME teams were able to spin a disk at 7500RPM resulting in a Reynolds number of 2.2 x 106.  Our strategy to achieve the desired Reynolds number is to increase the disk’s angular velocity with a more powerful motor and to decrease the kinematic viscosity of air with a dry ice cooling system. In the most recent experiment, the team ran the updated rig at 10260 RPM with an inlet air temperature of -1℃.  This resulted in a Reynolds number of 3.31 x 106.  To achieve the desired Reynold’s number, the disk will need to spin at 14000 RPM with an inlet temperature of 0℃.  This required upgrading to a larger pulley ratio and v-belt to ensure the motor is not over-worked.  After completing the required speed modifications, the rig is now capable of reaching the lower bound of Reynolds numbers requested by the sponsor. Another primary deliverable is a CFD simulation of the experiment.  This is a crucial step which will be used with empirical correlations to validate experimental data.  Completion of this project will allow Pratt & Whitney engineers to better understand the thermal stresses that exist in compressor or turbine disks.  This, in turn, will allow existing disk designs to be improved or foster the creation of new designs altogether.