Why Wash Compressors?
When gas turbine engines are run, they become fouled with airborne contaminants such as oil, soot, unburned fuel, soils and salt which encrust compressor components. Power loss follows as the compressor loses efficiency and degrades the performance of the engine, leading to higher operating temperatures, increased fuel consumption and shorter component life.
Some engines are more prone to fouling than others – low flying over land or sea, or operating in contaminated air, have led to helicopter engines and industrial engines traditionally needing cleaning – but nowadays it is recognised that all engines foul to some extent; for example, oil leakage and subsequent fouling can happen on any engine type. Contamination can also be caused by ingestion of exhaust gases from other aircraft during prolonged waits for takeoff clearance.