Improving efficiency and reliability of aero engines is one of the main challenges of the aviation industry. To achieve this, new materials combined with weight reduction methods are continuously being developed and applied. At the same time these components have to withstand higher loads and longer service life without impact on safety.

Rotating components like disks and blisks in aero engines are highly sensitive in terms of aircrafts' safety. A burst failure in particular (an uncontained engine failure) can result in hazardous or even catastrophic effects on the aircraft and its passengers. For this reason spin testing becomes an indispensable part of aero engine development. In Element's test facilities we are able to examine nearly every kind of rotating components of aero engines, turbine compressors, turbochargers and blowers under realistic conditions using highly sophisticated spin test rigs, with speeds up to 200,000 rpm depending on the size of the specimen. Primarily, these include disks and blisks but also other typical rotating engine components like shafts, seals, bearings, spools or impellers.

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Services

  • Overspeed Spin Testing
  • Cyclic LCF Spin Testing / Low Cycle Fatigue Spin Testing
  • Hot and Cold Spin Testing
  • Dynamic Spin Testing
  • Pre-Spin Testing / Production Spin Testing
  • Crack Propagation Testing
  • Intended Burst Testing
  • Rub Testing
  • Balancing
  • Containment Testing
  • Torque Testing
  • Break System Testing
  • Rotor Excitation
  • Damping Characterization
  • Rotor-dynamical Analysis
  • Blade Excitation
  • Turbowheel Testing / Turbocharger Testing
  • Developmental Spin Testing / Developmental Pre Spinning / Developmental Pre Spin Testing
  • Small Spin Testing / High-Speed Spin Testing
  • Bearing Testing
  • Lubrication Testing
  • Shroud Testing
  • Disk Testing
  • Blisk Testing
  • Spool Testing
  • Tip clearance Testing
  • Impeller Testing
  • Compressor Testing
  • Turbine Testing
  • Oil jet Testing
  • Air jet Testing
  • Partial Air Testing
  • Growth Measurement at Speed
  • Strain Survey
  • Thermal Gradient Spin Testing
services

Dynamic Spin Testing

Analyzing the interaction of blades and disks at certain vibration conditions during rotation is important to understand how these affect the service behavior in operation especially at HCF conditions at the resonant frequencies.

To reproduce that type of test conditions special technologies to excite a bladed rotor have been developed by Element using either air or oil jets. Highly sophisticated measurement technologies enable determination of the damping parameters for the individual blades. A prerequisite for this type of test is the installation of multichannel telemetry systems with appropriate sample rates as used in Element spin test facilities.

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Low Cycle Fatigue (LCF) Spin Testing and Burst Testing

Providing the most realistic test environments considering operating conditions as specified by the customer is our key objective. 

We have an unparalleled range of spin test facilities, monitoring systems and support technology in place to enable these conditions, so that we truly understand the components´ behavior throughout the testing process. Our experts have developed “Online” crack detection methods to identify the crack initiation and growth during the test operation which enables us to shut down the facility in time to prevent the specimen from bursting. This controlled shutdown process enables Element to subsequently complete in-depth metallurgic and fracture mechanic investigations. For intended burst tests, the spin facilities can also be equipped with special containments that can contain even the smallest fragments to enable further metallurgic examinations. Furthermore exceptional routines in cyclical spin tests, low cycle fatigue(LCF) but also in cyclic thermal spin tests are established, to determine the Wöhler curve of the component (e.g. for turbochargers).

Key facts:

Number of facilities: 3

Speed range: up to 65.000rpm

Test article temperature: - 40°C up to + 1000°C

Test chamber pressure: < 3 mbar

Test chamber dimensions: D 1600mm, L 1000mm

Test article max. weight: 2500 kg 

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Partial Air Spin Testing

Spin tests are normally performed under vacuum for practical and safety related reasons. However, to achieve even more realistic results, a small portion of atmospheric oxygen is required for so called “partial air” conditions during cyclic spin testing at high temperatures, which leads to oxidation of the test body.

The inclusion of this essential environmental influence delivers results which are closer to the reality, enabling to set extended safe component cycle times and inspection intervals for maintenance and finally allows better service life prediction. In our experience, tests that do not fully consider the impact of oxidisation, results in substantially lower approved in-service life for the type of tested specimen.

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Small Spin Testing - High Speed Spin Testing/Turbo Charger Testing

Rotating components with higher RPM speeds are another special spin test capability served in our Aerospace Rotating Component Center of Technical Excellence at Element Berlin, and is called small spin or high speed spin testing.

The range typically covers small turbo charger wheels that will see high rotation speeds in the final operation as well as down scaled components where rotational speeds have been increased by simulation in order to maintain the stress level to the material as it will occur in the nominal component. The huge advantage of the 2nd application are much lower manufacturing cost and significantly shorter prototype manufacturing lead times. 

For all testing services offered, full adaptation of specimens to the facilities, rotor dynamical analysis and balancing of the test assembly is included. On request special monitoring systems can be set up.

Key facts:

Number of facilities: 3

Speed range: up to 200.000rpm  (research for 300.000rpm ongoing)

Test article temperature: up to + 700°C

Test chamber pressure: < 3 mbar

Test chamber dimensions: D 400mm, L 500mm

Test article max. weight: 50 kg

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Rub Testing

A minimized tip clearance is one of the key success factors of modern fuel efficient engines due to reduced aerodynamic losses. Unfortunately, a tight tip clearance involves the risk of rotor-vibration if the blade tip touches the abradable coating of the stator casings.

To evaluate these effects on the components' service life, Element developed an outstanding horizontal spin rig which can reproduce and simulate these conditions accurately. Any vibrations and deteriorations that occur during testing can be monitored online through the use of state-of-the-art telemetry systems. Especially for HPT shrouds made of CMCs, this interaction will become an important research area where we can support you with our expertise and experience.

Key facts
1 Horizontal test facility
Speed range: up to 25.000rpm
Test article temperature: up to + 700°C
Test chamber pressure: < 3 mbar
Test chamber dimensions: D 800mm, L 500mm
Test article max. weight: 200 kg
services

Pre-Spin Testing

Tailored spin procedures for material improvement up to the yield range of the material can also be offered in particular for the Power Generation and Oil & Gas sectors.

The main intention for this type of testing is e.g. to improve the material properties after raw machining or to apply a controlled rotational pre-growth of a component before installation into the final assembly.

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State-of-the-Art Measurement Technology

Element's state-of-the-art measurement technology enables you the highest level of confidence in our results.

Generation of 3D temperature gradients by special oven technologiesContact-free measurement of temperatureContact-free measurement of radial expansion on continuous as well as interrupted surfacesUsage of multi-channel telemetry systemsPermanent vibration monitoringCrack detection and crack growth monitoring at rotating specimensUsage of high speed cameras

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