SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-106 (AirForce)
Title:  Low Temperature Limits for Gas Turbine Engine Oils
Research & Technical Areas:  Air Platform, Space Platforms

  Objective:  To develop and validate a simulation tool and methodology to determine low temperature viscosity limits for gas turbine engine oils to effectively meet the requirements of future military engines.
  Description:  Gas turbine engine oil (GTO) viscosity grades are optimized for specific applications by trading the high-temperature performance against the low-temperature engine starting capability. Typically, aerospace GTOs have used viscosities of from 13,000 centistokes to 20,000 centistokes as the maximum viscosity for engine start up with very little real data upon which to base the limit. The low temperature of interest is -40 degrees F, which is the current lowest operational temperature requirement for DoD aircraft. Oil with higher operational temperature capability has tremendous benefits in terms of reduced maintenance (lower coking, longer bearing life) and reduced system weight (smaller heat exchangers). The purpose of this program will be to develop a modeling tool and associated methodology to effectively and accurately determine the maximum allowable viscosity for engine oils, therefore the lowest operational capability for various oils in military aircraft gas turbine engines.

  PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of a model and prototype simulation for the modern aircraft engine environment including critical hardware and GTO fluid dynamics. Interaction with major engine companies is highly recommended.
  
  PHASE II: Further develop the model and associated methodology. Validate the performance in environmental chambers with GTOs with different low temperature viscosities. Potential offerors may desire to include engine companies, the customer for this technology, in their program plans, with engine testing as a goal.

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: Dual use applications include municipality power generation turbines, which have similar issues to aircraft gas turbine engines. Commercial application: Commercial application is for commercial aircraft because commercial aircraft engines will also benefit from operating with an oil optimized for low and high temperature.

  References:  1. L.J. Gschwender, L. Nelson, C.E. Snyder, Jr., G.W. Fultz and C.S. Saba, “Advanced High-Temperature Air Force Turbine Engine Oil Program,” Turbine Lubrication in the 21st Century, ASTM STP 1407, W.R. Herguth and T.M. Warne, eds. American Society for Testing and Materials, West Conshohocken PA (2001). 2. C.E. Snyder, Jr., L.J. Gschwender and S.K. Sharma, “Military Aerospace Fluids and Lubricants Workshop Proceedings, AFRL-ML-WP-TP-2002-402, August 2002.

Keywords:  gas turbine engine oils, low-temperature, high-temperature, lubrication, modeling

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