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Sensitivity of Aeroelastic Properties of an Oscillating LPT Cascade
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Modern turbomachinery design is characterized by a tendency towards thinner, lighter and highly loaded blades, which in turn gives rise to increased sensitivity to flow induced vibration such as flutter. Flutter is a self-excited and self-sustained instability phenomenon that may lead to structural failure due to High Cycle Fatigue (HCF) or material overload. In order to be able to predict potential flutter situations, it is necessary to accurately assess the unsteady aerodynamics during flutter and to understand the physics behind its driving mechanisms. Current numerical tools used for predicting unsteady aerodynamics of vibrating turbomachinery components are capable of modeling the flow field at high level of detail, but may fail in predicting the correct unsteady aerodynamics under certain conditions. Continuous validation of numerical models against experimental data therefore plays significant role in improving the prediction accuracy and reliability of the models.


In flutter investigations, it is common to consider aerodynamically symmetric (tuned) setups. Due to manufacturing tolerances, assembly inaccuracies as well as in-service wear, the aerodynamic properties in a blade row may become asymmetric. Such asymmetries can be observed both in terms of steady as well as unsteady aerodynamic properties, and it is of great interest to understand the effects this may have on the aeroelastic stability of the system.


Under certain conditions vibratory modes of realistic blade profiles tend to be coupled i.e. the contents of a given mode of vibration include displacements perpendicular and parallel to the chord as well as torsion of the profile. Current design trends for compressor blades that are resulting in low aspect ratio blades potentially reduce the frequency spacing between certain modes (i.e. 2F & 1T). Combined modes are also likely to occur in case of the vibration of a bladed disk with a comparatively soft disk and rigid blades or due to tying blades together in sectors (e.g. in turbines).


The present investigation focuses on two areas that are of importance for improving the understanding of aeroelastic behavior of oscillating blade rows. Firstly, aeroelastic properties of combined mode shapes in an oscillating Low Pressure Turbine (LPT) cascade were studied and validity of the mode superposition principle was assessed. Secondly, the effects of aerodynamic mistuning on the aeroelastic properties of the cascade were addressed. The aerodynamic mistuning considered here is caused by blade-to-blade stagger angle variations


The work has been carried out as compound experimental and numerical investigation, where numerical results are validated against test data. On the experimental side a test facility comprising an annular sector of seven free-standing LPT blades is used. The aeroelastic response phenomena were studied in the influence coefficient domain where one of the blades is made to oscillate in three-dimensional pure or combined modes, while the unsteady blade surface pressure is acquired on the oscillating blade itself and on the non-oscillating neighbor blades. On the numerical side, a series of numerical simulations were carried out using a commercial CFD code on a full-scale time-marching 3D viscous model. In accordance with the experimental part the simulations are performed using the influence coefficient approach, with only one blade oscillating.


The results of combined modes studies suggest the validity of combining the aeroelastic properties of two modes over the investigated range of operating parameters. Quality parameters, indicating differences in mean absolute and imaginary values of the unsteady response between combined mode data and superposed data, feature values that are well below measurement accuracy of the setup.


The findings of aerodynamic mistuning investigations indicate that the effect of de-staggering a single blade on steady aerodynamics in the cascade seem to be predominantly an effect of the change in passage throat. The changes in steady aerodynamics are thereby observed on the unsteady aerodynamics where distinctive effects on flow velocity lead to changes in the local unsteady pressure coefficients. In order to assess the overall aeroelastic stability of a randomly mistuned blade row, a Reduced Order Model (ROM) model is introduced, allowing for probabilistic analyses. From the analyses, an effect of destabilization due to aero-asymmetries was observed. However the observed effect was of moderate magnitude.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. , 119 p.
Trita-KRV, ISSN 1100-7990 ; 13:05
Keyword [en]
flutter, aeroelastic response, combined modes, bending-torsion flutter, mode superposition, aerodynamic asymmetries, ROM, probabilistic analysis
National Category
Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-123504ISBN: 978-91-7501-809-6OAI: diva2:626791
2013-06-14, EKV Learning Theatre, Brinellvägen 68, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20130610

Available from: 2013-06-10 Created: 2013-06-10 Last updated: 2013-06-14Bibliographically approved

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