(19)
(11)EP 3 557 007 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(21)Application number: 19170333.9

(22)Date of filing:  18.04.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F01D 25/00(2006.01)
F02K 3/06(2006.01)
F01D 25/24(2006.01)
F02C 7/32(2006.01)

(54)

INTEGRALLY BUILT UP COMPOSITE GAS TURBINE ENGINE FAN CASE

INTEGRAL AUFGEBAUTES BLÄSERGEHÄUSE EINES GASTURBINENMOTORS IN VERBUNDBAUWEISE

CARTER COMPOSITE DE SOUFFLANTE D'UN MOTEUR À TURBINE À GAZ CONSTRUIT D'UNE SEULE PIÈCE


(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: 19.04.2018 US 201815957432

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.10.2019 Bulletin 2019/43

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

(72)Inventors:
  • LYDERS, David R
    Glastonbury, CT 06033 (US)
  • KLING, Colin J
    Glastonbury, CT Connecticut 06033 (US)

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


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 789 827
EP-A2- 2 290 197
FR-A1- 3 045 456
EP-A1- 3 511 528
FR-A1- 3 045 448
US-B2- 8 979 473
  
      
    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 OF THE INVENTION


    1. Technical Field



    [0001] The present disclosure relates to a composite fan case for a gas turbine engine and, more particularly to a composite fan case that includes discrete plies or fillers that are integrally incorporated into laminate of the composite fan to provide discrete build-ups within the laminate that can be used to provide, for example, attachment points for external hardware.

    2. Background Information



    [0002] A gas turbine engine typically includes a fan section, a compressor section, a combustor section, and a turbine section. Air entering the compressor section is compressed and delivered into the combustion section where it is mixed with fuel and ignited to generate a high-speed exhaust gas flow. The high-speed exhaust gas flow expands through the turbine section to drive the compressor and the fan section.

    [0003] In a continued effort to reduce the weight of a gas turbine engine, a case surrounding the fan rotor has been manufactured of a composite material, such as carbon epoxy, to further reduce weight. Although composite fan cases are light weight and include several other favorable characteristics, one challenge with composite fan cases is attaching components to the case. In general, components have been bonded to the external surface of the fan case or attached with threaded fasteners extending through the case. However, bonded features tend to be liberated in a Fan Blade Out (FBO) event, and threaded fasteners through the composite material may degrade structural capability of the containment case.
    There is a need for an improved composite fan case.

    [0004] FR 3 045 456 A1 discloses a prior art gas turbine engine fan case as set forth in the preamble of claim 1.

    [0005] FR 3 045 448 A1 discloses a prior art composite material housing and a method for the manufacture thereof.

    [0006] EP 2 290 197 A2 discloses a prior art composite fan containment case.

    [0007] EP 3 511 528 A1 discloses a prior art gas turbine engine component with integrally formed stiffeners.

    [0008] EP 2 789 827 A1 discloses a prior art installation boss and fan case.

    SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE



    [0009] The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the disclosure. The summary is not an extensive overview of the disclosure. It is neither intended to identify key or critical elements of the disclosure nor to delineate the scope of the disclosure. The following summary merely presents some concepts of the disclosure in a simplified form as a prelude to the description below.

    [0010] In accordance with the invention, there is provided a gas turbine engine fan case as recited in claim 1.

    [0011] The discrete filler may comprise unitary material selected from one of metal or composite.

    [0012] The plurality of wound layers may comprise composite material and the plies comprise fiberglass.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0013] 

    FIG. 1 schematically illustrates a turbofan engine.

    FIG. 2 is a pictorial illustration of a plurality of plies of fiberglass and outer adhesives all attached to a composite fan case, according to the prior art

    FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional illustration of a portion of a fan case.

    FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional illustration of a portion of the fan case illustrated in FIG. 3, following machining to form a recess in the plies for mounting of attachments.

    FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional illustration of a portion of a fan case that comprises a plurality of wound layers interleaved with plies to form a radial integral build-up.

    FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional illustration of a portion of a fan case that includes a plurality of wound layers and a discrete filler that form a radial integral build-up.

    FIG. 7 is a pictorial illustration of plies being placed at specific locations of a roll of composite material.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0014] It is noted that various connections are set forth between elements in the following description and in the drawings (the contents of which are incorporated in this specification by way of reference). It is noted that these connections are general and, unless specified otherwise, may be direct or indirect and that this specification is not intended to be limiting in this respect. A coupling between two or more entities may refer to a direct connection or an indirect connection. An indirect connection may incorporate one or more intervening entities or a space/gap between the entities that are being coupled to one another.

    [0015] Aspects of the disclosure may be applied in connection with a gas turbine engine.

    [0016] FIG. 1 schematically illustrates a gas turbine engine 20. The gas turbine engine 20 is disclosed herein as a two-spool turbo fan that generally incorporates a fan section 22, a compressor section 24, a combustor section 26 and a turbine section 28. Alternative engines (not shown) might include an augmentor section among other systems or features. Although depicted as a high-bypass turbofan in the disclosed non-limiting embodiment, it should be appreciated that the concepts described herein are not limited to use only with turbofan architectures as the teachings may be applied to other types of turbine engines such as turbojets, turboshafts, industrial gas turbines, and three-spool (plus fan) turbofans with an intermediate spool.

    [0017] The engine 20 generally includes a low spool 30 and a high spool 32 mounted for rotation about an engine central longitudinal axis A relative to an engine case structure 36 via several bearing structures 38. The low spool 30 generally includes an inner shaft 40 that interconnects a fan 42, a low pressure compressor ("LPC") 44 and a low pressure turbine ("LPT") 46. The inner shaft 40 may drive the fan 42 directly or through a geared architecture 48 to drive the fan 42 at a lower speed than the low spool 30. An exemplary reduction transmission is an epicyclic transmission, namely a planetary or star gear system.

    [0018] The high spool 32 includes an outer shaft 50 that interconnects a high pressure compressor ("HPC") 52 and a high pressure turbine ("HPT") 54. A combustor 56 is arranged between the high pressure compressor 52 and the high pressure turbine 54. The inner shaft 40 and the outer shaft 50 are concentric and rotate about the engine central longitudinal axis A which is collinear with their longitudinal axes.

    [0019] Core airflow is compressed by the LPC 44 then the HPC 52, mixed with the fuel and burned in the combustor 56, then expanded over the HPT 54 and the LPT 46. The LPT 46 and the HPT 54 rotationally drive the respective low spool 30 and high spool 32 in response to the expansion.

    [0020] FIG. 2 is a pictorial illustration of a plurality of fiberglass plies 102 and outer adhesives 104 all attached to a composite fan case exterior surface 106, according to the prior art, to form a thread bolt attachment 100. See U.S. Patent 8,979,373. The thread bolt attachment 100 may be in the shape of a molded conical "bathtub" or boss. Metal inserts may be imbedded within the bathtub to provide attachment hardware for various components mounted to the exterior of the fan case, including for example a holding bracket for a fluid tube. A problem with this prior art configuration is that it uses secondarily bonded details to create attachment points for external hardware. These details require the fan case to go through a second cure cycle for the adhesive, adding time to the manufacturing process and exposing the fan case to additional temperature cure cycles. To reduce the number of details that are designed/fabricated, a series of common details are typically used; this can result in sub-optimal design solutions (where larger details than needed are used for the sake of commonality) and can limit detail placement (because the secondarily bonded details are typically contoured to match the case diameter). These details are also nonstructural, so they cannot be relied upon to increase the structural capability, for instance around an instrumentation hole. Finally, during a high energy event, such as a containment event, the impulse typically causes the adhesive to fail and liberates the prior art technology detail.

    [0021] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional illustration of a portion of a fan case 200 during an intermediate step of manufacturing the fan case. In this embodiment the fan case comprises a plurality of wound layers 202 (e.g., layers of composite material) that circumferentially form the fan case and a plurality of radially stacked composite plies 204 that form a radial integral build-up 206. In this embodiment the length of the plurality of radially stacked composite plies 204 generally decreases radially outwardly in order to form, for example, a trapezoidal shaped build-up 206. The dimensions of the stacked composite plies 204 may be selected based upon the desired shape of the build-up 206, such as for example, rectangular, square, oval, et cetera.

    [0022] The plies 204 may be fiberglass or carbon fiber reinforced, or have other fiber reinforcement. The integral build-up 206 may have a peak thickness Tp which is greater than nominal thickness Tn of the fan case.

    [0023] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional illustration of the portion of the fan case 200 illustrated in FIG. 3 following machining to form a recess 220 filled by a metallic insert with an attachment feature (e.g., threaded hole) in the insert for mounting of attachments. For example, a bracket (not shown) may be threaded into the insert in order to provide a mounting structure (not shown) extending radially beyond the fan case and onto which components may be attached.

    [0024] The build-up discussed herein may also be used for local reinforcement to allow holes in a case for future instrumentation, embedding a metallic detail that can later have an insert installed, locally reinforce the laminate for structural reasons, et cetera.

    [0025] Rather than stacking the plurality of plies in order to form the build-up, it is contemplated that other structures/techniques may be used. For example, FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional illustration of a portion of a fan case 500 during an intermediate step of manufacturing the fan case. In this embodiment the fan case comprises a plurality of wound layers 502 that circumferentially form the fan case along with a plurality of radially stacked discrete composite plies 504. In this embodiment the plies are interleaved with the wound layers 502 to form a radial integral build-up 506. The dimensions of the plies 504 is selected based upon the desired shape of the build-up 506. Once the build-up is completed and the fan case structure is cured, the build-up may be machined in order to provide the desired structure for receiving mounting components as discussed above with respect to FIG. 4.

    [0026] Rather than face to face stacked plies or interleaved plies to primarily form the build-up, it is contemplated that a discrete filler is used (e.g., a unitary filler). FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional illustration of a portion of a fan case 600. In this embodiment the fan case comprises a plurality of wound layers 602 that circumferentially form the fan case and a discrete filler 604 that form a radial integral build-up 606. The discrete filler 604 may be metallic, composite, or other materials such as lightweight potting. The dimensions/shape of the discrete filler may be selected based upon the desired shape of the build-up 606. One or more recesses 608 are machined into the build-up 606 in order to provide structure (e.g., a threaded hole) that receives component mounting elements such as a bracket, et cetera. FIG. 7 is a pictorial illustration of plies or filler 702 being placed at specific locations of a roll of composite material 704, hand placed by an operator, or automated placement using a robotic device 706. The localized build ups can be added to known processes of wrapping of the composite case. The build ups can be used for attachment points for external hardware, local reinforcement to allow holes in a case for future instrumentation, embedding a metallic detail that can later have an insert installed, locally reinforcing the laminate for structural reasons, or other uses for a build up.

    [0027] Creating the build up using discrete plies or filler material allows each location to be customized for the particular application, and opens the design space to optimize each location to its needs without a series of unique part numbers. Final part weight may be reduced compared to using prior art technology by only splicing in the number of plies that are needed (instead of bonding a common detail sized for the largest need). Secondary bonding process and its associated cure times/temperatures may be eliminated in contrast to the prior art. In addition, during high energy impact events, such as a blade out event, the adhesive bond of the prior art technology can fail, liberating the secondarily bonded details. In contrast, the integrated build up splices with the case laminate so there is no adhesive bond line to fail.

    [0028] Although the different non-limiting embodiments have specific illustrated components, the embodiments of this invention are not limited to those particular combinations. It is possible to use some of the components or features from any of the non-limiting embodiments in combination with features or components from any of the other non-limiting embodiments.

    [0029] It should be understood that like reference numerals identify corresponding or similar elements throughout the several drawings. It should also be understood that although a particular component arrangement is disclosed in the illustrated embodiment, other arrangements will benefit herefrom.

    [0030] The foregoing description is exemplary rather than defined by the features within. Various non-limiting embodiments are disclosed herein, however, one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that various modifications and variations in light of the above teachings will fall within the scope of the appended claims. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the disclosure may be practiced other than as specifically described. For that reason the appended claims should be studied to determine true scope and content.


    Claims

    1. A gas turbine engine fan case (600), comprising:

    a plurality of wound layers (602) that form a laminate and have a nominal radial fan case thickness, where the laminate includes a plurality of discrete fan case radial locations comprising a discrete filler material (604; 702) sandwiched between radially adjacent layers of the plurality of wound layers (602) to form a radial integral build up (606) in comparison to the nominal radial fan case thickness, characterized in that

    the radial integral build up (606) comprises a radially extending machined cavity (608) into which is mounted a metallic insert with a threaded hole configured to receive attachment hardware.


     
    2. The gas turbine engine fan case (600) of claim 1, where the discrete filler material (604; 702) is a unitary material selected from one of metal or composite.
     
    3. The gas turbine engine fan case (200; 500; 600) of any preceding claim, where the plurality of wound layers (202; 502; 602) comprise composite material and the composite material comprises fiberglass.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Gasturbinentriebwerksbläsergehäuse (600), umfassend:
    eine Vielzahl von gewickelten Schichten (602), die einen Schichtstoff bilden und eine nominale radiale Bläsergehäusedicke aufweisen, wobei der Schichtstoff eine Vielzahl von separaten Bläsergehäuseradialpositionen beinhaltet, die ein separates Füllmaterial (604; 702) umfassen, das zwischen radial angrenzenden Schichten aus der Vielzahl von gewickelten Schichten (602) eingeschoben ist, um einen radialen integralen Aufbau (606) im Vergleich zur nominalen radialen Bläsergehäusedicke zu bilden, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der radiale integrale Aufbau (606) eine radial verlaufende, maschinell hergestellte Vertiefung (608) umfasst, in die ein metallischer Einsatz mit einer Gewindebohrung montiert ist, die dazu konfiguriert ist, Befestigungsteile aufzunehmen.
     
    2. Gasturbinentriebwerksbläsergehäuse (600) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das separate Füllmaterial (604; 702) ein einheitliches Material ist, das aus einem aus Metall oder Verbundstoff ausgewählt ist.
     
    3. Gasturbinentriebwerksbläsergehäuse (200; 500; 600) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Vielzahl von gewickelten Schichten (202; 502; 602) ein Verbundmaterial umfassen und das Verbundmaterial Glasfaserstoff umfasst.
     


    Revendications

    1. Carter de soufflante d'un moteur à turbine à gaz (600), comprenant :

    une pluralité de couches enroulées (602) qui forment un stratifié et ont une épaisseur de carter de soufflante radiale nominale, où le stratifié comporte une pluralité d'emplacements radiaux de carter de soufflante discrets comprenant un matériau de remplissage discret (604 ; 702) intercalé entre des couches radialement adjacentes de la pluralité de couches enroulées (602) pour former une construction d'une seule pièce radiale (606) par rapport à l'épaisseur de carter de soufflante radiale nominale, caractérisé en ce que

    la construction d'une seule pièce radiale (606) comprend une cavité usinée s'étendant radialement (608) dans laquelle est monté un insert métallique avec un trou fileté configuré pour recevoir le matériel de fixation.


     
    2. Carter de soufflante d'un moteur à turbine à gaz (600) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le matériau de remplissage discret (604 ; 702) est un matériau unitaire choisi parmi un métal ou un composite.
     
    3. Carter de soufflante d'un moteur à turbine à gaz (200 ; 500 ; 600) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, dans lequel la pluralité de couches enroulées (202 ; 502 ; 602) comprend un matériau composite et le matériau composite comprend de la fibre de verre.
     




    Drawing


























    Cited references

    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