As part of an ongoing uprating and upgrading program of the THM 1304 gas turbine directed towards increasing power output and efficiency as well as further improving the high level of availability, major design modifications were made on the power turbine (PT). New blades and vanes were designed for increased aerodynamic efficiency, improved high temperature capability, higher power output and higher nominal operating speed. This report presents the analytical and experimental investigations made on the vibration modes and frequencies of blades with pre-loaded interlocking tip shrouds. One focus is upon observed families of mode shapes at different nodal diameters. A comparison of finite-element results with test data shows how good predictions are in the case of coupled blade vibrations. The value of testing the vibration behavior of power turbine blades in the actual machine, over the complete speed range, becomes evident as an important addition to the numerical predictions and laboratory tests. Another focus is on the method of testing, including the telemetry system used and the problem of optimum placement of strain gages on the blades. The selected strain gage positions are crucial to the value and meaningfulness of the test results. The observed strain vibration amplitudes were compared with high-cycle-fatigue (HCF) data available for the blade material. It was shown that measured amplitudes were significantly below allowable levels over the complete range of operating power and speed. The analytical and experimental methods employed to determine blade mode shapes and frequencies for a blade system with pre-loaded tip shrouds are presented in detail.

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