Slots in the disk of aircraft turbines restrain the centrifugal load of blades. Contact surfaces between the blade root and the disk slot undergo high contact pressure and relative displacement that is the typical condition in which fretting occurs. The load level ranges from zero to the maximum during take-off. This cycle is repeated for each mission. In this paper, a fretting fatigue analysis of additively manufactured blades is presented. Blades are made of an intermetallic alloy γTiAl. Fretting fatigue experiments were performed at a frequency of 0.5 Hz and at a temperature of 640 °C to match the operating condition of real blades. The minimum load was fixed at 0.5 KN and three maximum loads were applied, namely 16, 18 and 20 kN. Both an analytical and a two-dimensional finite element model were used to evaluate the state of stress at the contact interfaces. The results of the analytical model showed good agreement with the numerical model. Experiments showed that cracks nucleate where the analytical model predicts the maximum contact pressure and the numerical model predicts the maximum equivalent stress. A parametric analysis performed with the analytical model indicates that there exists an optimum geometry to minimize the contact pressure. Tests showed that the component life changed dramatically with the maximum load variation. Optical topography and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis reveals information about the damage mechanism.
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