To achieve greater efficiency with lightweighting, new configurations are being explored in aero engine design. Typically, these configurations include large flexible structures such as fan blades which require adequate modeling techniques to capture their dynamic effects accurately. For the analyses of these components, the traditional one-dimensional Rotordynamics modeling approach is not sufficient and even two-dimensional axisymmetric harmonic elements cannot capture discrete rotor blades and their complex non-uniform geometries. These limitations motivate the use of three-dimensional (3D) solid/shell elements. They allow for a geometrically complete representation of the rotor as well as analysis in both the fixed and the rotating reference frames. The advantages of 3D elements for rotordynamic analyses are demonstrated using a turbofan engine model. The results reveal the effect of dynamic coupling between the fan blades and the rotor shaft on rotor deformation due to unbalance loads.

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