(19)
(11)EP 2 458 153 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 11190652.5

(22)Date of filing:  24.11.2011
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F01D 5/28  (2006.01)

(54)

Impact tolerant composite airfoil for a turbine engine

Einschlagtolerantes Verbundstoffschaufelblatt für ein Turbinentriebwerk

Aube composite tolérante à impact pour un moteur à turbine


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 29.11.2010 US 955323

(43)Date of publication of application:
30.05.2012 Bulletin 2012/22

(73)Proprietor: United Technologies Corporation
Farmington, CT 06032 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Parkin, Michael
    S. Glastonbury, CT Connecticut 06073 (US)
  • Alexander, Phillip
    Colchester, CT Connecticut 06415 (US)
  • Klinetob, Carl Brian
    East Haddam, CT Connecticut 06423 (US)

(74)Representative: Dehns 
St. Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 526 057
EP-A2- 2 241 432
EP-A2- 2 354 455
US-A- 3 883 267
US-A- 5 279 892
US-B2- 7 575 417
EP-A1- 1 947 346
EP-A2- 2 299 123
US-A- 3 762 835
US-A- 4 118 147
US-A1- 2010 056 006
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND



    [0001] This disclosure relates to composite blades. For example, the composite blade may be a fan blade for a turbine engine.

    [0002] Blades, such as those used for fan blades in turbine engines, are typically formed from strong and durable metal alloys. The metal alloy provides a desired degree of strength and durability under the operating conditions of the engine and resists damage from ingested foreign objects. There are also composite blades made of reinforcement fibers in a polymeric matrix.

    [0003] Composite blades with the features of the preamble to claim 1 are disclosed in US 7,575,417 and US 3,762,835. Other composite blades and methods of managing the foreign object impact tolerance thereof are disclosed in EP 2354455, EP 0526057, EP 1947346 and US 5,279,892.

    SUMMARY



    [0004] From one aspect, the present invention provides a composite blade in accordance with claim 1.

    [0005] In an embodiment, the composite skin of the composite blade includes a through-plane thickness that tapers toward the root section.

    [0006] In another embodiment, the composite blade is a fan blade that is incorporated within a fan section of a turbine engine.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0007] The various features and advantages of the disclosed examples and embodiments will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description. The drawings that accompany the detailed description can be briefly described as follows.

    Figure 1 illustrates an example turbine engine.

    Figure 2 illustrates a perspective view of a composite blade according to the present invention.

    Figure 3 illustrates a side view of an embodiment of the composite blade.

    Figure 4 illustrates a longitudinal cross section of the composite blade.

    Figure 5 illustrates a chord-wise cross section of the composite blade.

    Figure 6 illustrates a three-dimensional network of fibers.

    Figure 7 illustrates a two-dimensional fiber sheet.

    Figure 8 illustrates tapering of a composite skin.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT



    [0008] Figure 1 illustrates selected portions of an example turbine engine 10, such as a gas turbine engine used for propulsion. In this example, the turbine engine 10 is circumferentially disposed about an engine center line 12. The engine 10 includes a fan 14 having fan blades 14a, a compressor section 16, a combustion section 18 and a turbine section 20 that includes turbine blades 22 and turbine vanes 24. As is known, air compressed in the compressor section 16 is mixed with fuel and burned in the combustion section 18 to produce hot gases that are expanded in the turbine section 20 to drive the fan 14 and compressor section 16. Figure 1 is a schematic representation for illustrative purposes only and is not a limitation on the disclosed examples. Additionally, there are various types of turbine engines, many of which could benefit from the examples disclosed herein, which are not limited to the design shown.

    [0009] Figures 2, 3, 4 and 5 illustrate, respectively, a perspective view of one of the fan blades 14a, a side view of the fan blade 14a, a longitudinal cross-section of the fan blade 14a, and a chord cross-section of the fan blade 14a. The fan blade 14a is an example of a composite blade in accordance with the present invention. However, it is to be understood that there are other types of blade that could also benefit from the examples disclosed herein, which are not limited to the design shown.

    [0010] The fan blade 14a includes an airfoil section 30 and a root section 32 that facilitates the mounting of the fan blade 14a within the engine 10. The root section 32 has a shape that is configured to mount the fan blade 14a in the turbine engine 10, such as a dovetail shape. Generally, the airfoil section 30 has a wing-like shape that provides a lift force via Bernoulli's principle such that one side of the airfoil section 30 is a suction side and the other side is a pressure side. The airfoil section 30 extends longitudinally between the root section 32 and a tip 34. The tip 34 is the terminal, free end of the fan blade 14a.

    [0011] A core 36 of the fan blade 14a defines the airfoil shape of the airfoil section 30 and the root shape of the root section 32. A composite skin 38 covers a portion of the core 36 excluding the root section 32. That is, the composite skin 38 covers at least a portion of the airfoil section 30 but does not cover the root section 32. Optionally, the fan blade 14a may also include a glass fabric cover ply (not shown) over the composite skin 38 and core 36 to cover exposed ply ends. The fan blade 14a may also optionally include a sheath 40 over a leading edge 41 of the airfoil section 30.

    [0012] Referring to Figure 6, the core 36 includes a three-dimensional network of fibers 42. The three-dimensional network of fibers 42 may include fibers 44 that are interwoven to form fiber sheets 46. The fiber sheets 46 are bundled to one another by transverse fibers 48 to provide a three-dimensional fiber structure. The fibers 44 are disposed in a matrix 48a, such as a polymeric material. Although a particular network fiber structure is shown, it is to be understood that the illustration is a schematic example and that those of ordinary skill in the art will be able to recognize other suitable three-dimensional fiber structures to meet their particular needs.

    [0013] Referring to Figure 7, the composite skin 38 includes three or more plies 50 of interwoven fibers 52 that form a sheet 54. As will be described in more detail below, in accordance with the present invention the airfoil section 30 of the fan blade 14a includes multiple plies 50 to form the composite skin 38. The fibers 52 are disposed in a matrix 52a, such as a polymeric material, which may be the same as the polymeric material of the core 36.

    [0014] The airfoil section 30 includes a span S (Figure 3) that extends between the root section 32 at 0% span (indicated at point A) and 100% span (indicated at point B) at the tip 34. For instance, a 10% span indicates a distance from the root section 32 that is equal to 10% of the span S of the airfoil section 30.

    [0015] In accordance with the present invention, the composite skin 38 partially covers the airfoil section 30 with the exclusion of 0-10% span. In other examples, the composite skin 38 covers the airfoil section 30 with the exception of 0-20% span or 0-30% span, depending upon the degree of foreign object impact tolerance that is desired in the fan blade 14a. Point C (Figure 4) indicates the 30% span position. Point D and point E indicate the 20% span and 10% span positions, respectively. Thus, a terminal end of the composite skin 38 may be approximately at point C, point D or point E.

    [0016] In operation, the hybrid combination in the fan blade 14a of the composite skin 38 and the core 36 allows a user to manage the foreign object impact resistance of the fan blade 14a. Generally, there is a trade-off between strength and toughness of the fan blade 14a. Strength represents the ability to resist being damaged at all upon foreign object impact. Toughness represents the ability to resist additional damage after foreign object impact. The two-dimensional composite skin 38 is strong but not tough relative to the three-dimensional core 36, which is tough but not as strong. Therefore, the fan blade 14a is designed to manage foreign object impact tolerance to thereby establish a different impact tolerance on the root section 32 than on the portion of the core 36 that is covered with the composite skin 38.

    [0017] The exclusion of the composite skin 38 over portions of the airfoil section 30 and the root section 32 allows greater toughness at the root section 32 near the junction of the root section 32 and the airfoil section 30. That is, the three dimensional network of fibers 42 of the core 36 is better able to absorb energy from impact than the two-dimensional fibers 52 of the composite skin 38, which may delaminate. In areas that have the core 36 and the composite skin 38, there is a higher degree of initial impact resistance because of the better in-plane strength of the composite skin 38 compared to the three-dimensional fiber network of the core 36. Therefore, in high stress areas, such as near the junction of the root section 32 and the airfoil section 30, the composite skin 38 is excluded to eliminate delamination of the composite skin 38.

    [0018] Figure 8 illustrates the terminal end of the composite skin 38 that includes a plurality of skin plies 38a-d that cover the underlying core 36. In order to end the coverage of the composite skin 38 over the core 36, the plies 38a-d progressively terminate in length such that the number of plies 38a-d sequentially reduces until there are no plies that remain to cover the core 38. In this manner, there is a non-abrupt termination of the composite skin 38 over the core 36.

    [0019] The reinforcing fibers 52 of the skin plies 38a-d differ from one another. The fibers 52 of an inner layer 38d with regard to the core 36 are different from the fibers of an outer layer 38a of the composite skin 38. The fibers 52 of the inner layer 38b are high tensile modulus fibers and the fibers 52 of the outer layer 38a are lower tensile modulus fibers.

    [0020] In accordance with the present invention, the fibers 52 of the plies 38a-d sequentially increase in tensile modulus from the outer layer 38a to the inner layer 38d. The fibers 52 of the plies 38a-d may differ in at least one of composition or nominal physical properties. As an example, the fibers 52 may be of the same nominal composition but may have different tensile modulus. In other embodiments, a first type of fiber may be used in the ply 38d and a different type of fiber may be used in the ply 38a. For instance, boron fibers may be used in the ply 38d and carbon fibers may be used in the ply 38a.

    [0021] Although a combination of features is shown in the illustrated examples, not all of them need to be combined to realize the benefits of various embodiments of this disclosure. In other words, a system designed according to an embodiment of this disclosure will not necessarily include all of the features shown in any one of the Figures or all of the portions schematically shown in the Figures. Moreover, selected features of one example embodiment may be combined with selected features of other example embodiments.

    [0022] The preceding description is exemplary rather than limiting in nature. Variations and modifications to the disclosed examples may become apparent to those skilled in the art that do not necessarily depart from the essence of this disclosure.


    Claims

    1. A composite blade (14a) comprising:

    a core (36) including a three-dimensional network of fibers, the core (36) defining an airfoil section (30) and a root section (32); and

    a composite skin (38) covering a portion of the core (36) excluding the root section (32) to thereby establish a different impact tolerance on the root section (32) than on the portion of the core (36) that is covered with the composite skin (38);

    wherein the airfoil section (30) includes a span extending longitudinally from a 0% span at the root section (32) to a 100% span at a tip (34), and the composite skin (38) covers the airfoil section (30) excluding 0-10% span; characterised in that

    the composite skin (38) includes at least three skin plies (38a-d) having reinforcement fibers (52), the reinforcement fibers (52) of the plies (38a-d) having different tensile moduli, the at least three plies (38a-d) including an inner skin ply (38d) with regard to the core (36), an outer skin ply (38a) with regard to the core (36) and one or more intermediate skin plies (38b,c) between the outer and inner plies (38a, 38d), wherein the reinforcement fibers (52) of the at least three plies (38a-d) sequentially increase in tensile modulus from the outer skin ply (38a) to the inner skin ply (38d), and wherein the plies (38a-d) progressively terminate in length at a radially inner end (C, D) of the composite skin (38) with the outer skin ply (38a) being the shortest to form a non-abrupt termination of the composite skin (38) over the core (36).


     
    2. The composite blade as recited in claim 1, wherein the composite skin (38) includes a through-plane thickness that tapers toward the root section (32).
     
    3. A turbine engine (10) comprising:

    a compressor section (16);

    a turbine section (20) in communication with the compressor section (16); and

    a fan section (14) in communication with the compressor section (16), the fan section (14) having a fan (14) with a plurality of fan blades (14a), each fan blade (14a) comprising a composite blade as recited in any preceding claim.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verbundstofflaufschaufel (14a), Folgendes umfassend:

    einen Kern (36), der ein dreidimensionales Netz aus Fasern beinhaltet, wobei der Kern (36) einen Schaufelprofilabschnitt (30) und einen Fußabschnitt (32) definiert; und

    eine Verbundstoffhaut (38), die einen Teil des Kerns (36) mit Ausnahme des Fußabschnitts (32) bedeckt, um dadurch an dem Fußabschnitt (32) eine andere Einschlagtoleranz als an dem Teil des Kerns (36) zu schaffen, der mit der Verbundstoffhaut (38) bedeckt ist;

    wobei der Schaufelprofilabschnitt (30) eine Spanne beinhaltet, die sich longitudinal von einer 0-%-Spanne an dem Fußabschnitt (32) bis zu einer 100-%-Spanne an der Spitze (34) erstreckt, und die Verbundstoffhaut (38) den Schaufelprofilabschnitt (30) mit Ausnahme der 0-10-%-Spanne bedeckt; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Verbundstoffhaut (38) mindestens drei Hautschichten (38a-d) beinhaltet, die Verstärkungsfasern (52) aufweisen, wobei die Verstärkungsfasern (52) der Schichten (38a-d) verschiedene Zugmodulwerte aufweisen, wobei die mindestens drei Schichten (38a-d) eine innere Hautschicht (38d) in Bezug auf den Kern (36), eine äußere Hautschicht (38a) in Bezug auf den Kern (36) und eine oder mehrere zwischenliegende Hautschichten (38b, c) zwischen der äußeren und der inneren Schicht (38a, 38d) beinhalten, wobei die Verstärkungsfasern (52) der mindestens drei Schichten (38a-d) von der äußeren Hautschicht (38a) zur inneren Hautschicht (38d) der Reihe nach steigende Zugmodulwerte aufweisen, und wobei die Schichten (38a-d) allmählich an einem radialen inneren Ende (C, D) der Verbundstoffhaut (38) der Länge nach enden, wobei die äußere Hautschicht (38a) die kürzeste ist, um ein nichtabruptes Ende der Verbundstoffhaut (38) über dem Kern (36) zu bilden.


     
    2. Verbundstofflaufschaufel nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Verbundstoffhaut (38) eine spezifische Dicke beinhaltet, die zu dem Fußabschnitt (32) hin abnimmt.
     
    3. Turbinentriebwerk (10), Folgendes umfassend:

    einen Kompressorabschnitt (16);

    einen Turbinenabschnitt (20), der in Verbindung mit dem Kompressorabschnitt (16) steht; und

    einen Lüfterabschnitt (14), der in Verbindung mit dem Kompressorabschnitt (16) steht, wobei der Lüfterabschnitt (14) einen Lüfter (14) mit einer Vielzahl von Lüfterlaufschaufeln (14a) aufweist, wobei jede Lüfterlaufschaufel (14a) eine Verbundstofflaufschaufel nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche umfasst.


     


    Revendications

    1. Pale composite (14a) comprenant :

    un noyau (36) comportant un réseau de fibres tridimensionnel, le noyau (36) définissant une section de surface portante (30) et une section d'emplanture (32) ; et

    un revêtement composite (38) recouvrant une partie du noyau (36) excluant la section d'emplanture (32) pour ainsi établir une première tolérance d'impact différente sur la section d'emplanture (32) de celle sur la partie du noyau (36) qui est revêtue du revêtement composite (38) ;

    dans laquelle la section de surface portante (30) comporte une envergure s'étendant longitudinalement d'une envergure de 0 % au niveau de la section d'emplanture (32) à une envergure de 100 % au niveau d'une pointe (34), et le revêtement composite (38) recouvre la section de surface portante (30) excluant une envergure de 0 à 10 % ; caractérisée en ce que

    le revêtement composite (38) comporte au moins trois couches de revêtement (38a-d) ayant des fibres de renforcement (52), les fibres de renforcement (52) des couches (38a-d) ayant différents modules de traction, les au moins trois couches (38ad) comportant une couche de revêtement interne (38d) par rapport au noyau (36) et une couche de revêtement externe (38a) par rapport au noyau (36) et une ou plusieurs couches de revêtement intermédiaires (38b, c) entre les couches interne et externe (38a, 38d), dans laquelle les fibres de renforcement (52) des au moins trois couches (38a-d) augmentent de manière séquentielle dans le module de traction à partir de la couche de revêtement externe (38a) vers la couche de revêtement interne (38d), et dans laquelle les couches (38a-d) se terminent progressivement en longueur au niveau d'une extrémité radialement interne (C, D) du revêtement composite (38), la couche de revêtement externe (38a) étant la plus courte pour former une terminaison non abrupte du revêtement composite (38) sur le noyau (36) .


     
    2. Pale composite selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le revêtement composite (38) comporte une épaisseur traversant le plan qui s'effile vers la section d'emplanture (32).
     
    3. Moteur à turbine (10) comprenant :

    une section de compresseur (16) ;

    une section de turbine (20) en communication avec la section de compresseur (16) ; et

    une section de soufflante (14) en communication avec la section de compresseur (16), la section de soufflante (14) ayant une soufflante (14) avec une pluralité de pales de soufflante (14a), chaque pale de soufflante (14a) comprenant une pale composite selon une quelconque revendication précédente.


     




    Drawing












    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description