Abstract : The present work targets shaft whirling motions induced by direct blade/casing unilateral contact occurrences in aircraft engine bladed-disk assemblies. These contact events are favored by increasingly reduced blade-tip clearances and potentially lead to harmful interactions that may threaten the engine structural integrity.
A simplified 2D in-plane finite element model representative of the engine fan stage is built, accounting for the flexibility of the shaft through two linear springs attached to the disk center node and the structural coupling provided by the fan frame and the bearings, modeled by an array of linear springs. A linear stability analysis of the reduced-order coupled system reveals two unstable zones in a selected rotational speed range, emanating from the linearly predicted modal coincidence speeds.
Through a time-marching strategy, two asymmetric contact initiation mechanisms are investigated: (1) a prescribed casing distortion and (2) a mass imbalance on the bladed-disk. It is shown how the 1-nodal diameter mode of the first modal family of the bladed-disk is dominant when a modal interaction arises from the transient casing distortion and leads to divergent regimes. The presence of the frame/bearings coupling induces a shift in the critical speeds detected, generally characterized by a backward traveling wave in the rotating frame and a forward traveling one in the fixed frame. Further, when a mass imbalance is the excitation source, the suspension modes appear to have a major role and a stable limit cycle is reached regardless of the coupling stiffness with much lower energy levels than in divergent regimes