In this paper, a method to influence the vibratory blade stresses of mixed flow turbocharger turbine blade by varying the local blade thickness in spanwise direction is presented. Such variations have an influence on both the static and the vibratory stresses and therefore can be used for optimizing components with respect to High-Cycle Fatigue (HCF) tolerance. Two typical cyclic loadings that are of concern to turbocharger manufacturers have been taken into account. These loadings arise from the centrifugal forces and from blade vibrations.

The objective of optimization in this study is to minimize combined effects of centrifugal and vibratory stresses on turbine blade HCF and moment of inertia. Here, the conventional turbine blade design with trapezoidal thickness profile is taken as baseline design. The thicknesses are varied at four span-wise equally spaced planes and three stream-wise planes to observe their effects on static and vibratory stresses. The summation of both the stresses is referred to as combined stress. In order to ensure comparability among the studied design variants, a generic and constant excitation order dependent pressure field is used at a specific location on blade.

The results show that the locations of static and vibratory stresses, and hence the magnitude of the combined stresses, can be influenced by varying the blade thicknesses while maintaining the same eigenfrequencies. By shifting the maximum vibratory stresses farther away from the maximum static stresses, the combined stresses can be reduced considerably, which leads to improved HCF tolerance.

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