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Investigation of Rotor-Casing Interactions in the Centrifugal Compressor of a Helicopter Engine

[+] Author Affiliations
Markus B. Meingast, Alain Batailly, Mathias Legrand

McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada

Jean-Philippe Ousty

Turbomeca, Bordes, France

Paper No. GT2013-94461, pp. V07BT31A009; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2013: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 7B: Structures and Dynamics
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, June 3–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5527-0
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


The phenomenology of rotor-casing setups experiencing contact interactions is still poorly understood, particularly when complex geometries such as centrifugal compressors are involved. Although interaction phenomena have been witnessed and recorded during industrial experiments, the physical understanding of what occurs during these interactions is limited. The usual design approach is to consider possible modal interaction points in a linear framework and move these outside of normal operating conditions by means of minor geometric changes. Based on this linear approach, no information on the severity of these interactions is available to the designer. Besides, a possible interaction point appearing in the linear framework may not produce any harmful interactions, thereby increasing design restrictions.

Based on an in-house numerical strategy previously presented, contact interactions for a flexible centrifugal compressor from a helicopter engine and rigid casing setup are investigated. By imposing a small deformation on the casing geometry, blade/casing contact is initiated and subsequent interactions feature complex phenomena that are analyzed. In comparison to previous interaction simulations involving axial compressors, a higher degree of complexity of the numerical simulations stems from a strong curvature of the blade and very significant blade-disk coupling. This coupling presents itself towards the trailing edge where compressor mode shapes indicate a significant component normal to the casing surface. Accordingly, these modes may lead to large amplitude contact forces.

Time simulation results are confronted with experimental observations, and the consistency of the behavior of the numerical model with respect to industrial observations is underlined. A frequency domain post-processing of the results reveals specific engine order interactions and frequency spectra are plotted in order to interpret the phenomenon of interest. Such methodology will enable designers to more efficiently discriminate potential critical interaction speeds as compared to the classical linear frequency approach.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Topics: Engines , Compressors , Rotors



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