Dovetail slots are essential structural cut-outs made in compressor disc to assemble blades. Under in-service centrifugal loading and inherent vibrations, the root regions of these dovetail slots are prone to fatigue failures. Surface treatment methods like shot peening, low plasticity burnishing and laser shock peening are employed to achieve fatigue life extension of dovetail slots. Another method commonly employed in aerospace industry for fatigue life extension of circular holes is the cold expansion process. This cold expansion process is a proven surface treatment method capable of achieving highest fatigue life enhancement benefits compared to other surface treatment methods, particularly for circular holes. Considering the efficacy of circular hole cold expansion process, an attempt is made in this work to study the suitability of cold expansion process for dovetail slots.
In this work, a three dimensional, non-linear Finite Element simulation has been carried out to explore the application of cold expansion process for dovetail slot of a compressor disc. This Finite Element simulation involves two main steps namely, cold expansion of holes and machining process between holes. Two circular holes of appropriate radius at root locations of dovetail slot are cold expanded to introduce beneficial compressive residual stresses and further, portion between the two holes is machined-off to obtain the required dovetail shape. Complete distributions of beneficial compressive residual stresses retained after machining of dovetail slot are captured to assess the efficacy of cold expansion. The predicted results indicate that the proposed cold expansion process for dovetail slots is capable of significantly enhancing the fatigue life of dovetail slots.