Context—The maintenance of aero engines is intricate, time-consuming, costly and has significant functional and safety implications. Engine blades and vanes are the most rejected parts during engine maintenance. Consequently, there is an ongoing need for more effective and efficient inspection processes. Purpose—This paper defines engine blade defects, assigns root-causes, shows causal links and cascade effects and provides a taxonomy system. Approach—Defect types were identified from the literature and maintenance manuals, categorisations were devised and an ontology was created. Results—Defect was categorised into Surface Damage, Wear, Material Separation and Material Deformation. A second categorisation identified potential causes of Impact, Environmental causes, Operational causes, Poor maintenance, Poor manufacturing and Fatigue. These two categorisations were integrated with an ontology. Originality—The work provides a single comprehensive illustrated list of engine blade defects, and a standardised defect terminology, which currently does not exist in the aviation industry. It proposes a taxonomy for both engine blade defects and root-causes, and shows that these may be related using an ontology.
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