Investigation Into Flutter of Complex Vane Packs

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Virginia Tech


There has been lots of interest in designing more fuel efficient aircraft using concepts such as boundary layer ingestion (BLI) that cause large amounts of pressure and swirl distortion that enter the jet engines. To enable ground testing the performance of these engines in different distortion patterns, the StreamVane and ScreenVane systems have been developed. A StreamVane consists of a complex vane pack that is custom designed for each distortion profile and the ScreenVane combines the StreamVane with a pressure distortion screen for testing engines under both pressure and swirl distortions. The complexity and uniqueness of these devices make predicting their structural integrity and propensity to flutter a challenge, necessitating the need for studying flutter in these complex vane packs. In order to study flutter of these complex vane packs, a methodology was created to obtain trailing edge displacements and frequencies from high speed video of a StreamVane and was used on a quad swirl StreamVane and a Simplified model. Unsteady CFD with periodic mesh deformation based off of its modal analysis was used to validate if it can predict the flutter velocity as well as understanding what the unsteady aerodynamic response to flutter is. A parameter study was then conducted along with oilflow visualization to better understand the potential causes of flutter and the impact of different design parameters. A harmonic response analysis was conducted on each of these designs and a correlation between the amplitude from the harmonic response and the flutter Mach number was obtained that can be used to predict when a StreamVane will flutter. A new series of StreamVanes were designed and based off of computational analysis, two were selected for manufacture. They both successfully avoided fluttering in flutter tests and were found to accurately replicate the goal swirl profile when measured with a 5 hole probe. These results provide a basis for understanding and predicting flutter in StreamVanes.



Flutter, structural dynamics, swirl distortion