In all the talk about fuel-efficient engines, safety is rarely one of the principal issues discussed. But when you consider that fuel efficient engines tend to run much hotter and at higher speeds than conventional engines, safety is of paramount importance to the design engineer.
With that in mind, Test Devices Inc. has recently hired a new Chief technology officer, Hiroaki Endo Ph.D., to develop new ways to test components of future gas turbine engines — engines that will be more fuel-efficient but run hotter and expose components to more extreme conditions than current models.
Test Devices has successfully demonstrated the ability to simulate high order vibratory modes of airfoils in hot conditions. By applying extreme thermal conditions, centrifugal load and relevant vibratory excitations to blades and rotors, Test Devices can create test conditions that are representative of the real engine environment. Data from the tests helps engineers understand and validate the life and integrity of critical engine components. The test data can also help design engineers refine their assumptions, models and material selection.
I talk more about engine stress in high efficiency engines and about some of the specific testing being done at Test Devices in my accompanying video blog accessible by clicking on the image below.