How Gas Turbines In Jet Engines Use Air Bleed Valves

Posted on March 4, 2021 Jack Kartan Aircraft Parts

Bleed air, the compressed air that originates from the compressor section of a turbine or auxiliary power unit, is a critical component of jet engine functionality. Gas turbine engineers use bleed air in many different ways throughout an aircraft to improve its efficiency. In fact, the successful distribution of bleed air is vital to the operation of an aircraft. To do this, air bleed valves have a critical role. Because bleed air valves have to be reliable even at extreme temperatures and in dry conditions, they are primarily made from carbon graphite. This material is a popular choice due to its ability to lubricate rubbing components.

Bleed air carries a lot of potential energy that, without a proper bleed air distribution system, would be wasted. Because the temperature of bleed air is typically between 400 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit and leaves the engine at approximately 40 psi, it can be highly useful in other aircraft systems. When you consider the amount of aircraft systems that need power to work, conservation of all available energy is necessary to ensure efficiency performance of the aircraft. Here are five areas where bleed air is utilized in aircraft systems:

Starting the engine: Bleed air from the APU can be extracted and used to power the air turbine starter, which provides the initial torque required to begin rotating the engine’s main shaft.

Cooling the cabin: By funneling a controlled amount of bleed air to the aircraft HVAC system, the temperature of the air within the cabin can be easily regulated.

Keeping potable water flowing: Bleed air, when used to pressurize the aircraft’s potable water holding tank, can eliminate the need for an onboard water pump.

Improving aircraft aerodynamics: When fed through specialized wing flaps, bleed air is able to enhance the boundary layers formed on the wings, thereby increasing the aerodynamic qualities of the aircraft.

De-icing: Hot bleed air is ideal for keeping critical parts of the aircraft, such as the wings, free of ice.

Bleed air is crucial to the efficiency of an aircraft. Another way to bolster the performance of your aircraft is to get parts from a top source. At Just Parts Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of gas turbine engine parts in addition to many other parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense, electronics, and IT hardware markets. Dedicated account managers are always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780.

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