MAE Seminar: Directional Effects of Additively Manufactured Components

Webinar. Details TBA
Karen A. Thole

Distinguished Professor and Department Head
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Pennsylvania State University

Abstract: Recent advances in the field of additive manufacturing (AM) have widened the design space for complex convective cooling designs. Using additive manufacturing allows for increasingly small and complex geometries to be fabricated with little increase in time or cost. The opportunity for gas turbine designers, in particular, is to exploit the use of additive manufacturing in re-thinking cooling schemes for components. However, high surface roughness levels result when using laser-powdered bed fusion, which is a common additive manufacturing technique. The inherent roughness, in fact, can be used to enhance convective heat transfer beyond that of engineered cooling designs, but comes with a pressure drop penalty. One dictating parameter that influences the surface roughness is the particular build direction. The build direction not only influences the surface roughness, but also affects whether it is possible to meet the design intent of the component, component shape and, ultimately, the resulting heat transfer and pressure loss characteristics of the component. This seminar will provide insights on the effects of the build direction on microchannels that are often used to cool gas turbine airfoils.

Bio: Karen A. Thole is a Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Thole’s expertise is in heat transfer and cooling of gas turbine airfoils through detailed experimental and computational studies. She directs the Steady Thermal Aero Research (START) Lab, which focuses on turbine heat transfer, additive manufacturing and instrumentation development. She has published over 270 archival journal and conference papers and has supervised over 75 dissertations and theses. She has served on two National Academy of Engineering study committees related to low-carbon aviation and advancing gas turbines. Thole received the 2015 ASME George Westinghouse Gold Medal for her work in gas turbine research, the 2016 Edwin F. Church Medal in Engineering Education, and in 2017, she received the ABET Claire L. Felbinger Diversity Award. In 2019, she was recognized with AIAA’s Air Breathing Propulsion award. She holds two degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.