Last stage blade rows of modern low pressure steam turbines are subjected to high static and dynamic loads. The static loads are primarily caused by the centrifugal forces due to the steam turbine’s rotational speed. Dynamic loads can be caused by instationary steam forces, for example. A primary goal in the design of modern and robust blade rows is to prevent High Cycle Fatigue caused by dynamic loads due to synchronous or non-synchronous excitation mechanisms. Therefore, it is important for the mechanical design process to predict the blade row’s vibration response. The vibration response level of a blade row can be limited by means of a damping element coupling concept. Damping elements are loosely assembled into pockets attached to the airfoils. The improvement in the blade row’s structural integrity is the key aspect in the use of a damping element blade coupling concept. In this paper, the vibrational behavior of a last stage blade row with damping elements is analyzed numerically. The calculation results are compared to results obtained from spin pit measurements for this last stage blade row coupled by damping elements.

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