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Effects of Nonuniform Blade Spacing on Compressor Rotor Flutter Stability

Yujun Leng, Nicole L. Key

Abstract: A generalized flat plate cascade model is used in this study to predict the unsteady aerodynamics of a vibrating blade row with nonuniform blade spacing in subsonic compressible flow. The blade row is assumed to vibrate in an isolated family of blade-dominated modes. The effect of nonuniform blade spacing on compressor rotor flutter stability is demonstrated by case studies based on the geometric and flow conditions of a high-speed three-stage axial research compressor. The results show that nonuniform blade spacing can greatly alter the blades’ aerodynamic damping. At certain vibrational nodal diameters, some blades are destabilized so much that their aerodamping becomes negative. However, negative aerodamping of some blades do not necessarily lead to the instability of the whole blade row. A general multibladed system aeroelastic model is derived to study the effects of the nonuniform blade spacing on rotor stability through an eigenvalue approach. The aerodynamic influence coefficients matrix can be calculated using the generalized flat plate cascade model for a blade row with any user-specified blade spacing patterns. The case studies investigated in this paper show that alternating blade spacing and shifting only one blade position can slightly increase the stability of the least-stable eigenmode, whereas sinusoidal blade spacing has a slightly destabilizing effect. On the other hand, the eigenvectors of the least-stable mode for the nonuniformly spaced blade rows can be significantly different from the uniform blade spacing case.
Keywords: blade / generalized flat plate / plate cascade model / flat plate cascade

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