Multiphysics Piezoelectric FEA for Vibration Control of Rotating Blades

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May 10, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: May 10 on

This modeling approach can be used in designing lighter, more compact, and more efficient actuators and control systems.The requirements for advanced aircraft engine components lead to designs that are more lightweight and efficient, yet more susceptible to excessive vibration, complex dynamic behavior, and uncertain durability and reliability. This complex nature of the dynamic behavior also leads to thicker blade designs; hence, increased fuel burn, increased noise, potentially reduced engine life, and increased maintenance costs. As part of the NASA Aeronautics Research Fixed Wing (FW) Project, Glenn Research Center has been investigating potential technologies that support the FW goals for lighter, quieter, and more efficient aircraft.One of the challenge areas in the development of highly efficient and lighter aircraft engines is that high-performance rotating blades are subject to high cycle fatigue (HCF) limitations as a result of high vibratory stresses. Excessive vibration of turbomachinery blades requires damping treatments to mitigate excessive vibration levels that cause HCF problems. Designing damping treatments for rotating blades in an extreme engine environment is a difficult task with various factors such as high temperatures and centrifugal accelerations. Several damping methods have been investigated by researchers for use in aircraft engine blades. Piezoelectric damping has also been explored as a potential solution for damping treatment. These efforts reported incremental reduction in resonant response utilizing various techniques; however, their investigations were only non-spinning demonstrations.The present innovation attempts to fill this void by developing and demonstrating the active piezoelectric damping treatment on aircraft engine rotating fan blades. Specifically, the objective was to develop multiphysics piezoelectric finite element modeling methodology for harmonic forced vibration response analysis coupled with shunted piezoelectric circuits under rotating conditions. ANSYS Multiphysics software was utilized to incorporate specific modeling techniques in this effort, along with experimental test verification processes to validate this numerical simulation methodology. This new method was proved as a feasible and cost-effective virtual solution approach able to predict active piezoelectric damping of the rotating engine blades with excellent computational efficiency and accuracy.

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