Experimental results obtained for an Inconel compressor blade rubbing a steel casing at engine speed are described. Load cell, strain gauge and accelerometer measurements are discussed and then applied to analyze the metal-on-metal interaction resulting from sudden incursions of varying severity, defined by incursion depths ranging from 13 μm to 762 μm (0.0005-in to 0.030-in). The results presented describe the transient dynamics of rotor and casing vibro-impact response at engine operational speed similar to those experienced in flight. Force components at the blade tip in axial and circumferential directions for a rub of moderate incursion depth (140 μm) are compared to those for a severe rub (406 μm). Similar general trends of variation during the metal-to-metal contact are observed. However, in the nearly three-fold higher incursion the maximum incurred circumferential load increases significantly, while the maximum incurred axial load increases much less, demonstrating the non-linear nature of the rub phenomena. Concurrently, the stress magnification on the rubbing blade at root mid-chord, at tip leading edge, and at tip trailing edge is discussed. The results point to the possibility of failure occurring first at the airfoil trailing edge. Such a failure was in fact observed in the most severe rub obtained to date in the laboratory, consistent with field observations. Computational models to analyze the non-linear dynamic response of a rotating beam with periodic pulse loading at the free-end are currently under development and are noted.

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