Passive damping of composite blades using embedded piezoelectric modules or shape memory alloy wires: a comparative study
Emission reduction from civil aviation has been intensively addressed in the scientific community in recent years. The combined use of novel aircraft engine architectures such as open rotor engines and lightweight materials offer the potential for fuel savings, which could contribute significantly in reaching gas emissions targets, but suffer from vibration and noise issues. We investigated the potential improvement of mechanical damping of open rotor composite fan blades by comparing two integrated passive damping systems: shape memory alloy wires and piezoelectric shunt circuits. Passive damping concepts were first validated on carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composite plates and then implemented in a 1:5 model of an open rotor blade manufactured by resin transfer moulding (RTM). A two-step process was proposed for the structural integration of the damping devices into a full composite fan blade. Forced vibration measurements of the plates and blade prototypes quantified the efficiency of both approaches, and their related weight penalty.