Development of Comprehensive Dynamic Damage Assessment Methodology for High-Bypass Air Breathing Propulsion Subject to Foreign Object Ingestion

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Virginia Tech

Foreign object ingestion (FOI) into jet engines is a recurring scenario during the operation life of aircraft. Objects can range from as small as a pebble on the tarmac to the size of a large bird. Among the potential ingestion scenarios, damage caused by smaller objects may be considered to be negligible. Alternatively, larger objects can initiate progressive damage, potentially leading to catastrophic failure, compromising the integrity of the structure, and endangering the safety of passengers. Considering the dramatic increase in air traffic, FOI represents a crucial safety hazard, and must be better understood to minimize possible damage and structural failure.

The main purpose of this study is to develop a unique methodology to assess the response and dynamic damage progression of an advanced, high-bypass propulsion system in the event of an FOI during operation. Using a finite element framework, a unique modeling methodology has been proposed in order to characterize the FOI response of the system. In order to demonstrate versatility of the computational analysis, the impact characteristics of two most common foreign object materials, bird and ice, were investigated. These materials were then defined in finite element domain, verified computationally, and then validated against the existing physical experiments. In addition to the mechanics of the two FOI materials, other material definitions, used to characterize the structures of the high-bypass propulsion system, were also explored. Both composite materials and rate dependent definitions for metal alloys were investigated to represent the damage mechanics in the event of an FOI.

Subsequently, damage sequence of high-bypass propulsion systems subject to FOI was developed and assessed, using a uniquely devised Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) technique. Using advanced finite element formulation, this approach enabled the accurate simulation of the comprehensive damage progression of the propulsion systems by including aerodynamic interaction. Through this strategy, fluid mechanics was combined with structural mechanics in order to simulate the mutual interaction between both continua, allowing the interpretation of both the additional damage caused by the fluid flow and disrupted aerodynamics induced by the dynamic deformation of the fan blade. Subsequently, this multidisciplinary-multiphysics computational approach, in the framework of the comprehensive analysis methodology introduced, enabled the effective determination of details on the overall progressive impact damage, not traditionally available to propulsion designers.

Foreign Object Ingestion, Fluid-Structure Interaction, Finite element method, Bird, Ice, Advanced Propulsion, Composite Structures, Particle Methods