Modeling, development, and testing of fluidic flexible matrix composite blade dampers

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1 Scopus citations


Currently existing lead-lag dampers are complex and maintenance-intensive parts of the rotor hub, and they are ineffective solutions for stiff-inplane rotors which experience very small deformation at the blade root. This paper introduces a new class of rotor blade dampers that use Fluidic Flexible Matrix Composite (F2MC) tubes connected to fluidic circuits. Models are developed that couple the blade, F2MC tube, and fluidic circuit dynamics in order to assess the performance of the proposed solutions. In this paper, two different devices are proposed for augmenting the damping of hingeless and articulated rotors. The first device is a compact F2MC damped vibration absorber intended for stiff-inplane rotor applications. Simulation results predict that an F2MC absorber placed at the root of a representative stiff-inplane hingeless rotor blade can increase the blade damping ratio from 2% to over 6%. The second device provides lag damping in an articulated rotor blade by harnessing the blade lag motion to strain an F2MC tube that pumps fluid through an orifice into an accumulator. Damping ratios as high as 25% critical damping are predicted for a representative articulated blade, although the F2MC damper effectiveness varies greatly depending on the blade operating lag angle. As a precursor to future rotor testing, a prototype articulated blade F2MC damper is built and tested on a 4.85-foot radius rotor blade. Using this device, blade damping ratios of up to 14.3% are achieved on benchtop experiments which include simulated centrifugal loading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnual Forum Proceedings - AHS International
StatePublished - 2018
Event74th American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum and Technology Display 2018: The Future of Vertical Flight - Phoenix, United States
Duration: May 14 2018May 17 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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