Gas turbine parts used in today’s aircraft and power generation applications are experiencing one of the most challenging mechanical and thermal operating environments. While there is a compelling need for more realistic life predictions of turbine components for safer operation, it is important from contractual service costing perspective as well. Therefore, design engineers should strike a balance between component safety and life cycle cost by carefully incorporating design conservatism in life estimation processes and tools used in the design of these components. This paper outlines some of the unique challenges encountered in life predictions of gas turbine components and a brief review on the current methods and trends. The predominant failure modes discussed are: airfoil corrosion fatigue due to Foreign Object Damage (FoD) and subsequent erosion, cyclic failure modes like high cycle fatigue (HCF), fretting fatigue and low cycle fatigue (LCF), high temperature failure mechanisms like creep, oxidation, hot corrosion and spallation. Also, the challenges in the prediction of crack propagation life due to fatigue initiated cracks and defects due to material impurities are discussed. The interaction effects between creep and fatigue and those between LCF and HCF are also outlined in this paper.

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