Modern aero-engines have reached a high level of sophistication and only significant changes will lead to the improvements necessary to achieve the economic and environmental targets of the future. Open rotors constitute a major leap in this direction, both in terms of efficiency and of technological innovation. This calls for a revision of the accepted design practices, and a new focus on phenomena that have been little investigated in the past, such as the Coriolis effect, or the gyroscopic coupling of the blades with the shaft. Experimental results from modern fans, with large blades and strong stagger angles, are showing dependence on Coriolis gyroscopic effects already, an effect that is expected to be strongly enhanced with the proposed open rotor designs.

For an accurate prediction of the Coriolis and gyroscopic effects in rotating assemblies a fully experimentally validated approach is needed. Today’s FE models can capture the basic physical phenomena, but experimental confirmation is still needed for the evolution of the mode shapes with angular speed, and the influence of damping and geometric nonlinearities when gyroscopic coupling is considered. To support this validation effort a new rotating test rig will be introduced, initial measurement data will be discussed, and a comparison with a finite element analysis presented.

Different forcing patterns, including forward and backward travelling-wave engine order excitation could be experimentally excited in the new rig, Coriolis-induced frequency splits were found in the dynamic response, showing a significant change in the dynamic behaviour of the investigated dummy disk, and only a minor impact of the mistuning was observed on the frequency splits due to Coriolis effects. The experimental results have been compared to a finite element analysis, and after some updating a good agreement between the predicted and measured Campbell diagrams could be obtained, demonstrating the reliability of the modelling approach.

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