The structural reliability of composite parts for aircraft is established through the “building block” approach, which is a series of tests that are conducted using specimens of various levels of complexity. In this approach, the failure modes and criteria are validated step by step with tests and analysis at coupon, element, sub-component, and component levels.
IHI is developing ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components for aircraft engines to realize performance improvement and weight reduction. We conducted the concept design of CMC low pressure turbine (LPT) blade with the building block approach. In this paper, we present the processes and results of the design, which was supported by a series of tests.
Typical low pressure turbine blade has dovetail, airfoil and tip shroud. Each element has different function and characteristic shape. In order to select the configuration of CMC LPT blade, we conducted screening tests for each element. The function of dovetail is to sustain the connection with blade and disk against centrifugal force. The failure modes and strength of dovetail elements were examined by static load tests and cyclic load tests. The configuration of airfoil was selected by modal tests. The function of tip shroud is forming gas passage and reducing the leakage flow, therefore this portion needs to sustain the shape against the centrifugal force and the rubbing force. The feasibility of tip shroud was verified by spin tests and rubbing tests. The initial CMC LPT blades were designed as combination of the selected elements by these screening tests. Prototype parts were made and tested to check the manufacturability and the structural feasibility. The static strength to the centrifugal force was examined by spin test. The durability to vibration was examined by HCF test.