Composite fan blade ply lay-up design, which includes ply drop-off/shuffle design and stacking sequence design, makes fan blade structures different from traditional composite structures. It gives designers more freedom to construct high-quality fan blades. However, contemporary fan blade profiles are quite complex and twisted, and fan blade structures are quite different from regular composite structures such as composite laminates and composite wings. The ply drop-off design of a fan blade, especially for a fully 3D fan blade, is still an arduous task. To meet this challenge, this paper develops a ply lay-up way with the help of a software called Fibersim. The fully 3D fan blade is cut into ply pieces in Fibersim. As a result, an initial ply sequence is created and ply shuffle could revise it. Because of the complexity of ply shuffling, the ply shuffle table developed in this paper mainly refers to the design experience gained from simple plate-like laminate structures and some criterion. Besides, the impact of different ply orientation patterns on the reliability of composite fan blade is studied through static and modal numerical analysis. The results show that this ply lay-up idea is feasible for aero engine composite fan blade. Under the calculated rotating speeds, the ply stacking sequence 4 (i.e.[−45°/0°/+45°/0°] with the outer seven groups are [−45°/0°/−45°/0°]) shows the greatest margin of safety compared with other stacking sequences. Modal analysis shows that plies with different angles could have relatively big different impacts on blades vibration characteristics. The composite fan blade ply design route this paper presents has gain its initial success and the results in this paper might be used as basic references for composite blade initial structural design.

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