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Modal Tests and Analysis of a Radial Impeller at Rest: Influence of Surrounding Air on Damping

[+] Author Affiliations
C. Gibert, L. Blanc, P. Almeida, X. Leblanc, F. Thouverez, J.-P. Laîné

École Centrale de Lyon, Ecully, France

J.-P. Ousty

Turbomeca – Safran Group, Bordes, France

Paper No. GT2012-69577, pp. 1121-1131; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2012: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 7: Structures and Dynamics, Parts A and B
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, June 11–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4473-1
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


HCF risk assessment for turbomachinery blades requires the prediction of vibratory levels, which in turn requires fine damping quantification. This issue is especially sensitive for structures with low structural damping such as monobloc centrifugal compressor disks (blisks). The material composing blisks and aero-dynamic flow both contribute to damping phenomena. A strategy for non-aerodynamic damping characterization is to perform experiments in vacuum.

This paper focuses on the use of modal tests in vacuum to estimate material damping under non-rotating conditions. Experiments are performed on an isolated impeller manufactured from a single piece in a vacuum chamber at different air pressure levels ranging from 10 mbar to 1 bar. Strong dependency of damping ratios on pressure can be found on the first flexural mode, leading to two types of application.

Firstly, measurements enable assessing the validity of extrapolations of non-aerodynamic damping from measurements sometimes performed under less thorough vacuum conditions. Basic fluid-structure interaction models are used to interpret and quantify the evolution of modal quantities when air is progressively removed. Secondly, vacuum measurements can give frequency response functions (FRFs) with much greater separation between resonance peaks. In this study, the damping ratio found in vacuum condition are 3% of these at ambient pressure corresponding to a magnitude 30dB higher at resonance peaks. This contrasts with in-air measurements on cyclic symmetry structures, like blisks, with high modal density that make the direct interpretation of FRFs and their modal analysis more difficult.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Impellers , Damping



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