To predict the dynamic stresses due to forced response of steam turbine blades, a commercial FE solver ABAQUS has been linked with an in-house CFD solver TF3D-VIB, in the time domain in both one-way and two-way coupling. Both methods have been applied to analyse a freestanding subsonic turbine stage excited by upstream flow perturbations. Over a frequency range the peak responses are very similar, but the peak response of two-way coupling is shifted to a lower frequency, due to the aerodynamic coupling effect of fluid-structure interaction. That means a speed / frequency sweep is necessary to search for the peak response in two-way coupling. However, in one-way coupling, the frequency shift can be derived from the vibration induced modal force, and only one calculation is needed to predict the response over a range of frequency ratio using the classic single degree-of-freedom equation. One calculation using two-way coupling typically takes seven times more computing time than one-way coupling. The total computing time for two-way coupling to define the response characteristic is therefore much higher; more calculations are needed and each calculation takes much longer. Thus a one-way coupling method including the frequency shift correction is much more practical and suitable for blade design iterations. The blade forced response is also limited by damping. In the case of low damping such as material only damping, this can be well represented in the harmonic ABAQUS calculation. However, high values of nonlinear damping can be deliberately introduced by managing the friction forces at blade root attachment. The nonlinear damping can be simulated directly by ABAQUS/Explicit method, convergence criteria often lead to excessive runtimes. Therefore a simple mass/spring model has been developed, which applies an exciting force to a system comprising two masses and springs to represent the blade and the root respectively and includes modelling of both the stick and slip forces of the root due to friction. Both the masses and their spring stiffness are chosen to produce either the sticking natural frequency (with infinite friction) or sliding natural frequency (zero friction). Using the simple two-mass model, the significant nonlinear response pattern is demonstrated. The resulting pattern has been verified against the ABAQUS/Explicit method. This allows the blade forced response prediction from the one way coupling to be further corrected to account for the nonlinear friction damping effect.

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