SmartBlend™ is now part of the repair workflow at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City where jet engines are disassembled, inspected, and repaired. The technology is expected to result in significant cost savings.
“This technology is critical for the long-term sustainment of IBRs,” notes the AF Life Cycle Management Center, program manager for the Rapid Innovation contract.
The AFRL engineer responsible for helping reduce maintenance costs, sees BDC technology as the “best chance of extending repairs for those IBRs, which are very expensive parts.”
Siemens purchased an exclusive BDC health monitoring software license for land based power systems used to detect and track cracks in turbine blades.
Turbine blades can fail from high cycle fatigue caused by excessive vibratory response. Siemens measures the vibratory response of their turbines while they are in continuous operation. BDC’s EzID™ software processes the data and extracts the frequencies of the individual blades. When a blade develops a crack its frequency drops. The BDC/Siemens health monitoring system detects very small cracks and monitors how they change over time. Service intervals can be scheduled to minimize downtime and significantly reduce maintenance costs. Using BDC’s Health Monitoring Software significantly reduces the risk of blade separation, which can cause a financial loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.
BDC’s Blade Sequencing Software is being used as standard work during engine assembly to reduce vibratory response in a low pressure turbine stage of a U.S. warfighter engine.
Blades used in turbines have attachments that insert into slots in the disk. Each blade has a different frequency and the order that the blades are inserted in the disk affects the blades’ vibratory response. BDC has developed a method for using the bench frequencies of individual blades to predict how the bladed disk assembly will vibrate in the engine. The software evaluates thousands of different blade sequences to find the best blade arrangement that balances the rotor and has low vibratory response.