Modelling the nonlinear behaviour of an underplatform damper test rig for turbine applications

L. Pesaresi, L. Salles, A. Jones, J. S. Green, C. W. Schwingshackl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


Underplatform dampers (UPD) are commonly used in aircraft engines to mitigate the risk of high-cycle fatigue failure of turbine blades. The energy dissipated at the friction contact interface of the damper reduces the vibration amplitude significantly, and the couplings of the blades can also lead to significant shifts of the resonance frequencies of the bladed disk. The highly nonlinear behaviour of bladed discs constrained by UPDs requires an advanced modelling approach to ensure that the correct damper geometry is selected during the design of the turbine, and that no unexpected resonance frequencies and amplitudes will occur in operation. Approaches based on an explicit model of the damper in combination with multi-harmonic balance solvers have emerged as a promising way to predict the nonlinear behaviour of UPDs correctly, however rigorous experimental validations are required before approaches of this type can be used with confidence. In this study, a nonlinear analysis based on an updated explicit damper model having different levels of detail is performed, and the results are evaluated against a newly-developed UPD test rig. Detailed linear finite element models are used as input for the nonlinear analysis, allowing the inclusion of damper flexibility and inertia effects. The nonlinear friction interface between the blades and the damper is described with a dense grid of 3D friction contact elements which allow accurate capturing of the underlying nonlinear mechanism that drives the global nonlinear behaviour. The introduced explicit damper model showed a great dependence on the correct contact pressure distribution. The use of an accurate, measurement based, distribution, better matched the nonlinear dynamic behaviour of the test rig. Good agreement with the measured frequency response data could only be reached when the zero harmonic term (constant term) was included in the multi-harmonic expansion of the nonlinear problem, highlighting its importance when the contact interface experiences large normal load variation. The resulting numerical damper kinematics with strong translational and rotational motion, and the global blades frequency response were fully validated experimentally, showing the accuracy of the suggested high detailed explicit UPD modelling approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-679
Number of pages18
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladed discs
  • Damper model
  • Friction damping
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Passive control
  • Turbine blade vibrations


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