In aircraft engines the blade resonant vibration amplitude is normally reduced by increasing the structural damping by using, for example, tip shrouds. These devices dissipate the energy generated at the contact surfaces between the relative motion and the friction force. Contact parameters, principally the friction coefficient and contact stiffness, are required to characterize the dynamics of shrouded blade system. Moreover, if at these contact surfaces severe wear occurs, a loss of interference takes place and the energy dissipated by the shroud decreases. Consequently the blade vibration amplitude increases and a catastrophic blade failure could take place. In this work a test rig for the contact parameter measurements and micro wear characterization of flat-on-flat contact surfaces has been developed. The test rig works at high temperatures of up to 1000 °C, by means of induction heating. One of the specimens was attached to the rig frame, basically an inertial mass and four springs, and subsequently excited by an electromagnetic shaker. The second specimen was allowed to approach the first specimen and to rotate in such a way than the geometric contact between the two surfaces occurred at three points. In this way a real “flat to flat” contact was obtained. The two surfaces were kept in contact by means of a constant normal load. The tangential contact force was measured by a force sensor while the relative displacements between the contact surfaces were measured by two laser vibrometers. The relative displacement was kept under control by acting on the shaker force. Tangential force and relative displacement were used to describe the hysteresis loop and, consequently, to obtain the friction coefficient and contact stiffness during the wear process. The temperature is feedback controlled by using two thermocouples placed within the specimens near the contact surfaces. The expected results are the contact parameters and the wear behaviour of real flat-on-flat contact surfaces. The aim of this work is to describe the design principle of the test rig and present the initial measurements.

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