This paper describes the design optimization study of an under platform damper to mitigate high vibration problem of a gas turbine rotor blade under resonance condition. An existing theoretical model explicitly, Casba friction damper model was used to evaluate the dynamic characteristics of the turbine blade with under platform damper. Turbine blade is approximated as two degrees of spring-damper-mass system, which is dynamically equivalent to real turbine blades for its first two eigen values. Blade tip response predictions were carried out for different damper mass, stiffness and coefficient of friction under simulated rotational speed of the rotor, to arrive at an optimum mass to control the blade tip response.

As a practical application, along with damper mass optimization, shape and mass distribution of the damper is obtained by design trials to ensure good contact between the blade root and damper upper surface. Contact analysis was carried using the ANSYS software. The asymmetric skewed damper geometry posed complications with respect to modelling and optimisation.

In realistic application, with the kind of uncertainties in contact pattern, variation in friction coefficient, geometric tolerances, validation/verification plays a major role in assessing the design. As part of verification of this damper design, a full scale gas turbine engine test program was envisaged and completed. Modified optimum damper was implanted as a design change, engine was instrumented for blade vibration measurement. Non-Intrusive Stress Measurement system was used for measuring blade tip amplitudes from all the blades in the rotor. Test blade tip vibration was analysed and compared against the predications.

This optimised damper configuration has showed significant reduction in blade amplitudes during full-scale gas turbine testing, in comparison to original design proving the efficacy of new modified damper.

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