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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

'Listening' to Engine Blades to Stop Failures, Disasters


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This new method can measure and monitor blade vibration at the same time.

Purdue University researchers have developed a monitoring system that can detect one of the most common causes of premature blade failure in gas turbine engines: rotor forced response vibration.

Credit: Purdue University News

Purdue University researchers have developed a monitoring system to identify the sound of rotor-forced response vibration, a common cause of premature blade malfunction in gas turbine engines.

The system employs multiple unsteady pressure sensors to listen for specific pressure waves associated with turbine engine blade vibration. Gas turbine blades are typically very lightly damped, and can function like a tuning fork; their blades can produce a specific frequency or tone when they resonate, which the pressure sensors are designed to pick up.

Said Purdue's Nicole Key, "With the help of big data analytics, the blade vibration information can be used to predict the possible engine failure and optimize preventive maintenance schedules."

From Purdue University News
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