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Aero Days 2011, Madrid

FUTURE Flutter-Free Turbomachinery Blades

Torsten Fransson, KTH Damian Vogt, KTH


A Typical Turbomachine

RR Trent 1000
Picture courtesy of RR

What is it flutter?

Turbomachinery Flutter
Flutter denotes a self-excited and self-sustained aeroelastic instability
Very harmful unless properly damped

Blades oscillate in traveling wave mode Neighbor blades usually lead to instability An isolated blade would not flutter

Why do turbomachinery blades flutter?

Underlying Mechanisms
Flutter involves the interaction of fluid and structure
Upon the motion of a component, the surrounding fluid will respond with an aerodynamic force The direction and phase of this force will lead to having the motion damped or augmented In case of augmentation, flutter will establish

The character of the fluid response depends on many factors such as

Geometrical aspects (i.e. profile shape, blade size, blade count) Operating point (idle, take-off, cruise) Ambient conditions (air temperature, etc) Dynamics (engine acceleration, deceleration)

Flutter might establish only at very few of the above conditions. Due to its harmful character it must however be avoided at any cost

How can we ensure flutter-free turbomachinery blades?

Flutter-Free Turbomachinery Blades

A good design does not flutter How to ensure a good design?
Design for stability performing accurate predictions of the unsteady behavior of the structural dynamics (FEM) and aerodynamics (CFD) in a turbomachine Ensure large-enough stability limits (i.e. moderate changes in operating conditions, profile shape, etc will not directly lead to a flutter instability)

A good design must also be economically viable

Engine development costs and time Fulfilling other objectives such as performance, weight, manufacturing cost, maintainability etc

During component design, industry nowadays largely relies on numerical simulations at affordable analysis costs (model size and run time)

How well are we to date doing on aeroelastic predictions?

Prediction Accuracy
Test case: transonic compressor
Each industry partner is using their own (trusted) aeroelastic analysis tool to analyze the aeroelastic behavior Variation of minimum aerodynamic damping with operating point

mass flow

Despite the high level of sophistication in todays numerical prediction tools, it is not uncommon that we have to deal with an accuracy of +-40% of predicted minimum aerodynamic damping
In the present test case: 2 out of 5 predict flutter, 3 do not

Test cases exist but these do not fully cover the spectrum needed for modern turbomachine designs
Component types (blisks, bladed disks) Flow conditions (transonic flow, high loading, separations) Combinations of unsteady pressure and vibration data

This empty spot shall be filled-in by the FUTURE project

Establishing of new experimental test cases Extensive validation of state-of-the-art prediction tools


Presentation of FUTURE Project

Flutter-Free Turbomachinery Blades



Project aiming at the acquiring new sets of relevant validation data on turbomachinery aeroelasticity (compressor, turbine) and validating numerical tools Project coordinator: KTH, Prof Torsten Fransson Partners: 25 partners from industry, research institutes, academia Budget: 10.6M Duration: July 2008 June 2012


FUTURE Project Partners

Industry Research Institutes Academia


Project Concept

Picture courtesy of RR

Turbine Fan Aeroelastic experiments Aeroelastic computations Synthesis of experiments and computations Compressor x x x x x x


Project Structure
Two main streaks of validation test cases as follows
Transonic compressor High subsonic Low-Pressure Turbine (LPT) These test cases have been conceived within FUTURE

Interconnected experiments
Non-rotating cascade tests, controlled blade oscillation Rotating tests, multi-blade row, free and forced oscillation Mechanical characterizations of components (blisk, bladed disks) Application of novel measurement techniques such as PSP

Interconnected computations
Performed by virtually all partners in the project Pre-test predictions Post-test predictions

Work Package Structure

WP1: Turbine and compressor cascade flutter
Paolo Calza, Avio

WP2: LPT Rotating rig flutter

Roque Corral, ITP

WP3: Multi-row compressor flutter

Jan stlund, Volvo Aero

WP4: Synthesis of experiments and computations

Detlef Korte, MTU

WP5: Project management

Damian Vogt, KTH

Shortcut to Benefits

Presentation of FUTURE Test Cases


Transonic Compressor
Design intent
Aeroelastic stable operation at design point N 18000rpm, ~ 0.6 Reduction of positive aerodynamic damping as stall line is approached


Compressor Flow Field

50% span

90% span

ADP, 1.412


Compressor - Overview of Tests

Non-rotating tests (isolated blade row, EPFL)
Detailed steady aerodynamics Aerodynamic damping (controlled oscillation, free oscillation) Data: inlet/outlet flow parameters, blade loading, time-resolved blade surface pressure

Rotating tests (1 stage compressor, TUD)

Detailed steady aerodynamics (blade loading, probe traverses) Mechanical characterization of rotor blisk (ECL) Damping measurements at various operating points Data: inlet/outlet flow parameters, blade loading, time-resolved blade surface pressure, blade vibration (tip-timing)


Non-Rotating Compressor Test Facility (EPFL)

Annular cascade module


Rotating Compressor Test Facility (TUD)

Rotor blisk

High Subsonic LPT Rotor

Design intent
Controlled aeroelastic instability at design point Limit Cycle Oscillations (LCO) N 2416rpm, M2 ~ 0.75 Goal: measurable LCO amplitudes


LPT Rotor Flow Field


Mach number 50% span Outlet ptot Surface oil flow


LPT - Overview of Tests

Non-rotating tests (isolated blade row sector, KTH)
Detailed steady aerodynamics Aerodynamic damping (controlled oscillation influence coefficients) Data: inlet/outlet flow parameters, blade loading, time-resolved blade surface pressure

Rotating tests (1 stage LPT, CTA)

Detailed steady aerodynamics (probe traverses) Two test objects: 1) cantilever 2) interlock Mechanical characterization of rotor bladed disks (AVIO) Damping measurements at various operating points Data: inlet/outlet flow parameters, blade vibration (tip-timing)


Non-Rotating LPT Test Facility (KTH)

Annular sector cascade module


Cascade Flow Field

Annular sector cascade
5 blades, 6 passages 70% span loading of rotating rig matched

Fig with midspan loading

Outlet Mach number distribution


Rotating LPT Test Facility (CTA)

Cantilever configuration Interlock configuration

Assembled rotor blades


What are the expected benefits of the FUTURE project?


Expected Benefits
The FUTURE project shall contribute to making turbomachinery aeroelastic predictions more reliable
Numerical tools validated on new, relevant and unique aeroelastic test cases that shall lead to best practice guidelines

Achieving this will

help making turbomachinery blades flutter-free make new aircraft engines more efficient cut development costs and time frames

The FUTURE project will provide key enabling technologies towards a green, safe, reliable and affordable air transport of the future


Great attention is given to the dissemination of project findings
Feeding-back findings to education and life-long learning

Sharing of audiovisual instruction material from industry partners with universities Development of e-learning tools THRUST TurbomacHinery AeRomechanical UniverSity Training The worlds first Masters programme in turbomachinery aeromechanics

THRUST+ Joint PhD programme on aeromechanics EXPLORE Aero World Virtual University

What do we envision after FUTURE?


Within the FUTURE project many questions will be answered but there might be unresolved topics at the end Having a strong project consortium and unique hardware in place, we envision research in the following directions
Control of flutter (active, mistuning, novel damping concepts) Influence of flow distortion and impedance Flutter in the presence of other unsteady aerodynamic phenomena Development of new improved numerical models