Status: Need is Closed

Controlling Mass Air Flow into Rotating Machinery Precisely and Accurately

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Need was closed on
Sep 28, 2018

We are looking for a way to control mass air flow into a rotating machine, such as a gas turbine. This is currently done by precisely and simultaneously rotating the first row of stationary blades in the engine using a circular link system. The precision and accuracy of the angle of rotation are critical as well as uniformity of rotation from airfoil to airfoil. Any new solutions deviating from the existing rotating stationary blades would need to be retrofittable into existing engines.


Gas turbines have rotating and stationary blades. Currently, the stationary blades are used to guide flow through the engine; frequently, the first one to three rows of a gas turbine have variable guide vanes, or rotating stationary blades. These blades do not rotate around the shaft (rotor), but rotate in place (twist or pivot) to change how much air flows into the engine and control the incidence angle of the air going into the rotating airfoils.

We are looking for a new way to change this air flow. Efficiency, accuracy, and precision of this air flow profile are requirements, as this affects power output, efficiency, and stresses on all of the components.

The current rotating stationary blade design is a concept that has been used in gas turbines for decades, and we are ready to revisit and find a leaner, robust, highly reliable modern solution!

Key success Criteria
  • Hardware should not be in the flow path
  • For rotational designs: all blades must turn/rotate by the same amount (-10 deg to +40 deg) at the same time (<0.01% deviation)
  • Hardware should be easy to maintain, with easy access, replacement, repairs, etc.
  • Capable of long term (several thousand cycles).
  • Serviceability: The solution has to be retrofittable
  • Create uniform airflow
Possible Approaches

Mechanical actuators with dowels, rods, hinges, etc. Geometry dependent rotational concepts.

Approaches not of Interest

We are open to any designs that meet the requirements.

Due Date
Sep 21, 2018
Items to be submitted

We are looking for concise, non-confidential proposals. The proposal should:

  • Describe the technical approach
  •  Include a description of the responding organisation or team and their experience


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Gallery Moderator(s)
Stephen Clulow
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