Cendón Franco, David Angel and Erice Echávarri, Borja and Galvez Diaz-Rubio, Francisco and Sanchez Galvez, Vicente
Numerical simulation of tangling in jet engine turbines.
"International Journal of Turbo and Jet-Engines", v. 29
The numerical analysis of certain safety related problems presents serious difficulties, since the large number of components present leads to huge finite elementmodels that can only be solved by using large and expensive computers or by making rough approaches to the problem. Tangling, or clashing, in the turbine of a jet engine airplane is an example of such problems. This is caused by the crash and friction between rotor and stator blades in the turbine after an eventual shaft failure. When facing the study of an event through numerical modelling, the accurate simulation of this problem would require the engineer to model all the rotor and stator blades existing in the turbine stage, using a small element size in all pieces. Given that the number of stator and rotor blades is usually around 200, such simulations would require millions of elements. This work presents a new numerical methodology, specifically developed for the accurate modelling of the tangling problem that, depending on the turbine configuration, is able to reduce the number of nodes up to an order of magnitude without losing accuracy. The methodology, which benefits from the cyclic configuration of turbines, is successfully applied to the numerical analysis of a hypothetical tangling event in a turbine, providing valuable data such as the rotating velocity decrease of the turbine, the braking torque and the damage suffered by the blades. The methodology is somewhat general and can be applied to any problem in which damage caused by the interaction between a rotating and static piece is to be analysed.