This work presents the development of a test rig capable of measuring the forces transferred between the blade platforms through the under-platform damper. This test rig is composed of two distinct parts each one representing a platform. The static part contains the load cells, which measure the forces in two perpendicular directions; the moving part controlled using two piezoelectric actuators reproduces any in-plane relative displacement between two adjacent platforms. In this scheme, the damper is placed between these two platforms and loaded by dead weights that reproduce the effects of centrifugal force. The hysteresis cycle, of the damper system, is obtained using the measured forces and the imposed displacement. In addition, two laser beams can be used to measure the damper displacement and its tilt angle, which allows validating dynamic models of the damper. Moreover, the test rig is designed to allow heating the specimens up to temperatures which are normally found in real operation. Finally, the test rig provides necessary variables to study the damper performance and to evaluate some contact models used to simulate under-platform dampers.

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