College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Icing discoveries receive AIAA best paper honors

Student observing ice accretion in Department of Aerospace Engineering Icing Research Tunnel.
Student observing ice accretion in Department of Aerospace Engineering Icing Research Tunnel.

A paper published by CoMFRE affiliate Hui Hu, Martin C. Jischke Professor in Aerospace Engineering, and three of his former Ph.D. students has been selected for the 2022 AIAA Gas Turbine Engine Best Paper Award by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (AIAA) Gas Turbine Engines Technical Committee.

The paper, “An Experimental Study on the Dynamic Ice Accretion Process over the Surfaces of the Rotating Fan Blades of an Aero-Engine Model” (AIAA 2022-2435), involves an experimental campaign conducted to study dynamic ice accretion on rotating aeroengine fan blades and evaluation of the icing-induced performance degradation to the fan rotor for the development of more effective and robust anti-/deicing strategies to ensure safer and more efficient operation of aeroengines in cold weather.

The experiments were performed in the Department of Aerospace Engineering’s icing research tunnel. It found, among other things, that aerodynamic performance of a fan rotor degraded substantially due to much rougher surfaces of iced fan blades. Needle-like icicles were found to grow rapidly out from the surfaces of the engine’s rotating spinner and fan blades under glaze icing conditions, due to the combined effects of the aerodynamic forces and the centrifugal forces associated with the rotation motion. This caused tremendous detrimental effects on the aerodynamic performance of the fan rotor.

Co-authored are three of Hu’s former students: Linchuan Tian (currently a post-doctoral researcher at Shanghai Jiao Tong University); Linkai Li (currently an assistant professor at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics); and Haiyang Hu (currently a post-doctoral researcher at Iowa State University in Hu’s group.)

Hu has been invited to attend the Technical Committee meeting during the AIAA SciTech 2023 Forum next January, where the paper will be officially honored. In addition, the paper will receive a “Best Paper” designation in the online library Aerospace Research Central (ARC) that will last in perpetuity; and will be listed in the November 2023 print issue of Aerospace America as a Best Paper Award winner.

Read the full abstract