Loughborough University
A novel method for predicting the response variability of friction-damped gas turbine blades.pdf (8.94 MB)

A novel method for predicting the response variability of friction-damped gas turbine blades

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-01-11, 16:23 authored by T. Butlin, P. Ghaderi, G. Spelman, William Midgley, R. Umehara
Predicting the response of gas turbine blades with underplatform friction dampers is challenging due to the combination of frictional nonlinearity and system uncertainty: a traditional Monte Carlo approach to predicting response distributions requires a large number of nonlinear simulations which is computationally expensive. This paper presents a new approach based on the principle of Maximum Entropy that provides an estimate of the response distribution that is approximately two orders of magnitude faster than Monte Carlo Harmonic Balance Method simulations. The premise is to include the concept of ‘computational uncertainty’: incorporating lack of knowledge of the solution as part of the uncertainty, on the basis that there are diminishing returns in computing precise solutions to an uncertain system. To achieve this, the method uses a describing function approximation of the friction-damped part of the system; chooses an ignorance prior probability density function for the complex value of the describing function based on Coulombs friction law; updates the distribution using an estimate of the mean solution, the admissible domain of solutions, and the principle of Maximum Entropy; then carries out a linear Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the response distribution. The approach is validated by comparison with HBM simulations and experimental tests, using an idealised academic system consisting of a periodic array of beams (with controllable uncertainty) coupled by single-point friction dampers. Comparisons with two- and eight-blade systems show generally good agreement. Predicting the response statistics of the maximum blade amplitude reveals specific well-understood circumstances when the method is less effective. Predictions of the overall blade response statistics agree with Monte Carlo HBM extremely well across a wide range of excitation amplitudes and uncertainty levels. Critically, experimental comparisons reveal the care that is needed in accurately characterising uncertainty in order to obtain agreement of response percentiles. The new method allowed fast iteration of uncertainty parameters and correlations to achieve good agreement, which would not have been possible using traditional methods.


The authors would like to thank Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan for funding this research.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Journal of Sound and Vibration




372 - 398


BUTLIN, T. ... et al, 2018. A novel method for predicting the response variability of friction-damped gas turbine blades. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 440, pp.372-398.


© Elsevier


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Sound and Vibration and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsv.2018.10.013.

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