The modelling of the friction interfaces has received much attention in recent years from the aerospace industry. In order to obtain reliable prediction of the nonlinear dynamic behaviour of the disc and blades in the aerospace engine the friction forces at interfaces, such as in under-platform dampers, blade and fir tree roots or shrouds, must be modelled accurately. Two contact parameters, namely the contact stiffness and the coefficient of friction, are sufficient to model, with good accuracy, the friction contact. The contact parameters are obtained experimentally, and are of interest for the designer only if representative of the operational environment of the engine. To pursue this aim a test rig has been designed to perform experiments in a wide range of temperatures, with different combinations of normal and tangential load, frequencies and mating materials, representative of the real operating condition of the engine. Most of the rigs found in literature perform most likely point contact even if the two bodies have plane mating surfaces. The design of a real plane-on-plane contact test rig is not an easy task but despite the difficulty a solution was found in the design shown in this work. The core of the rig is a tilting mechanism enabling one surface to lies down on the other so that the plane-on-plane contact is achieved, at least within the flatness geometrical tolerance of the surfaces. The results of the experiments are the hysteresis loops, namely the tangential contact force against the relative displacement, from which the contact parameters can be calculated. Measurements of displacements are taken very close to the actual contact area and are performed by means of two laser interferometers. Localized heating is achieved by means of an induction heating machine while a thermocouple measures the temperature at points close to the contact area.

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