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Effects of Hardness on the Lifetime of Graphite Brushes Used for Aircraft Starter Generators

[+] Author Affiliations
R. Asmatulu, M. J. Holle, H. E. Misak

Wichita State University, Wichita, KS

Paper No. IMECE2012-93464, pp. 247-256; 10 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-93464
From:
  • ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Advances in Aerospace Technology
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 9–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4517-2
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME

abstract

This study is focused on the relationship between the hardness of three different carbon/graphite brushes (A, B and C), the wear rate of the brushes and heat generated within a 400 Amp starter generator. The method being proposed was to alternate the starter generator from the starting mode and the generating mode, and run each carbon/graphite brush in the starter generator for a set time and document the wear rates, heat generations and surface morphology changes. The hypothesis was that either excess carbon dust caused arcing, or the energy required to form the carbon dust was releasing too much heat, and thus the brush was too hard. An optical microscope, AFM, and SEM were used in the analysis of the surfaces. It was found that as the hardness of the brush went up, the wear rate decreased while the overall heat on the inside of the starter generator increased. From this research, it is evident that the hardness of the brushes is the key factor for heat, wear and morphology changes in the starter generator.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME

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