The aim of this paper is to study the effects of mistuning on fan flutter and to compare the prediction of two numerical models of different fidelity. The high fidelity model used here is a three-dimensional, whole assembly, time-accurate, viscous, finite-volume compressible flow solver. The Code used for this purpose is AU3D, written in Imperial College and validated for flutter computations over many years. To the best knowledge of authors, this is the first time such computations have been attempted. This is due to the fact that, such non-linear aeroelastic computations with mistuning require large amount of CPU time and cannot be performed routinely and consequently, faster (low fidelity) models are required for this task. Therefore, the second model used here is the aeroelastic fundamental mistuning model (FMM) and it based on an eigenvalue analysis of the linearized modal aeroelastic system with the aerodynamic matrix calculated from the aerodynamic influence coefficients. The influence coefficients required for this algorithm are obtained from the time domain non-linear Code by shaking one blade in the datum (tuned) frequency and mode. Once the influence coefficients have been obtained, the computations of aero damping require minimal amount of CPU time and many different mistuning patterns can be studied. The objectives of this work are to:
1. Compare the results between the two models and establish the capabilities/limitations of aeroelastic FMM,
2. Check if the introduction of mistuning would bring the experimental and computed flutter boundaries closer,
3. Establish a relationship between mistuning and damping.
A rig wide-chord fan blade, typical of modern civil designs, was used as the benchmark geometry for this study. All the flutter analyses carried out in this paper are with frequency mistuning, but the possible consequences of mistuned mode shapes are briefly discussed at the end of this paper. Only the first family of modes (1F, first flap) is considered in this work. For the frequency mistuning analysis, the 1F frequency is varied around the annulus but the 1F mode shapes remain the same for all the blades. For the mode shape mistuning computations, an FE analysis of the whole assembly different mass blades is performed.
The results of this work clearly show the importance of mistuning on flutter. It also demonstrates that when using rig test data for aeroelastic validation of CFD codes, the amount mistuning present must be known.
Finally, it should be noted that the aim of this paper is the study of mistuning and not steady/unsteady validation of a CFD code and therefore minimal aerodynamic data are presented.