Abstract

Aircraft intermittent combustion engines often incorporate turbochargers adapted from ground-based applications to improve their efficiency and performance. These turbochargers can operate at off-design conditions and experience blade failures brought on by aerodynamic-induced blade resonances. A reduced-order model of the aeroelastic response of general fluid-structural configurations is developed using the Euler-Lagrange equation informed by numerical data from uncoupled computational fluid dynamic (CFD) and computational structural dynamic calculations. The structural response is derived from a method of assumed-modes approach. The unsteady fluid response is described by a modified version of piston theory that approximates the local transient pressure fluctuation in conjunction with steady CFD solution data. The reduced-order model is first applied to a classical panel flutter scenario and found to predict a flutter boundary that compares favorably to the boundary identified by existing theory and experimental data. The model is then applied to the high-pressure turbine of a dual-stage turbocharger. The model predictions are shown to reliably determine the lack of turbine blade flutter, and rudimentary damping comparisons are performed to assess the ability of the model to ascertain the susceptibility of the turbine to forced response. Obstacles associated with the current experimental state of the art that impinge upon further numerical validation are discussed.

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