Contact and Friction in Vibration Assessments in Gas Turbines

  • Adrian Jones, Rolls-Royce, UK
  • Dr Christoph Schwingshackl, Imperial College London, UK

One of the main failure modes to be avoided in Gas Turbine component design is high cycle fatigue (HCF) and contact fatigue. The stresses and strains that cause HCF are due to vibration of the component, as a result of excitation forces that occur within an engine or as a result of component flutter. The assessment of a design’s HCF integrity requires knowledge of the levels of vibration, which is based on the level of excitation and damping within the system, which affects the non-linear behaviour. The drive for ever higher product efficiency is increasing the Mechanical difficulty in designing Gas Turbine components, with the need for weight reduction, higher temperatures and increased time on wing. With current tools and methods, designs are becoming constrained by existing criteria, and higher fidelity analytical tools in determining dynamic contact behaviour are needed to improve optimisation and assess robustness. The costs and time delays associated with dynamic issues can be extreme. From the need to re-run strain gauge tests, issues during the Engine Development stage, up to in service issues, the costs range from £millions to £billions, highlighting the need for accurate predictions to prevent such problems. There are other substantial benefits that can be derived from the ability to accurately predict non-linear contact and friction behaviour, such as; the ability to free up design space and produce more optimised and robust designs. In addition the relative cost benefit of weight reduction, along with Specific Fuel Consumption improvement from cooling flow reduction can also be significant. The impact of dynamic contact and friction behaviour in gas Turbines are seen in a range of areas, including high loaded contacts and non-linear damping. Being able to more accurately model contact interfaces, will allow the generation of improved and efficient designs capable of operating safely for the full design life of the component. This mini-symposium will review current methods and Industry’s key needs and discuss examples of research moving forward the capability of better predicting contact and friction in dynamic analyses. The scope covers the full range of fundamental, experimental and applied research, including: development and application of non-linear modal analysis; advances in the finite element methods, specifically contact; sensor development, e.g. full-field optical systems for experimental analysis, validation; robust, multi-functional and smart components; novel damping systems and materials; materials characterisation, e.g. strength and friction.

Keywords: Friction, Contact, Vibration, Dynamics, Non-linear, Operating Deflection Shape, Uncertainty, Edge of Bedding, Wear, Dynamic behaviour over lifetime




MVSPA Conference 2022 Flyer

Key dates

Abstract submission deadline:


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Registration deadline:


Paper submission deadline:

31 July 2022

Revision of proceedings (committee)

Early September 2022


Organised by the IOP Applied Mechanics Group