The density of Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC) materials is approximately 1/3 the density of metals currently used for High Pressure Turbine (HPT) blades. A lower density, and consequently lower centrifugal stresses, increases the feasibility of shrouding HPT blades. Shrouding HPT blades improves aerodynamic efficiency, especially for low aspect ratio turbine blades. This paper explores aerodynamic and structural issues associated with shrouding HPT rotor blades. Detailed Navier-Stokes analysis of a rotor blade showed that shrouding improved blade row aerodynamic efficiency by 1.3%, when the clearance was 2% of the blade span. Recessed casings were used. Without a shroud the depth of the recess equaled the clearance. With a shroud the recess depth increased by the shroud thickness, which included a knife seal. There was good agreement between the predicted stage efficiency for the unshrouded blades and the experimentally measured efficiency. Structural analysis showed a strong interaction between stresses in the shroud and peak stresses at the hub of the blade. A thin shroud of uniform thickness only moderately increased maximum blade stress, but there were very high stresses in the shroud itself. Increasing shroud thickness reduced stresses in the shroud, but increased blade stresses near the hub. A single knife seal added to the thin shroud noticeably decreased maximum shroud stress, without increasing maximum blade stress. Maximum stresses due to pressure loads and combined pressure and centrifugal loads were nearly the same as the maximum stresses for individual pressure or centrifugal loads. Stresses due to a 100K temperature difference across the blade walls were much lower than centrifugal or pressure load stresses.

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