(19)
(11)EP 3 653 837 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
20.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/21

(21)Application number: 19210177.2

(22)Date of filing:  19.11.2019
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F01D 5/14  (2006.01)
H01R 4/64  (2006.01)
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 19.11.2018 US 201816194931

(71)Applicant: United Technologies Corporation
Farmington, CT 06032 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • LYDERS, David R.
    Glastonbury, CT 06033 (US)
  • STILIN, Nicholas D.
    Higganum, CT 06441 (US)
  • BELL, Kevin M.
    Higganum, CT 06441 (US)

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

  


(54)GROUNDING CLIP FOR BONDED VANES


(57) A grounding clip (22) for an organic matrix composite guide vane (10) with a metallic sheath (20) comprises the organic matrix composite guide vane (10) including a body (12) having a leading edge (14) and a trailing edge (16) opposite the leading edge (14) and a root end (18) extending between the leading edge (14) and the trailing edge (16). The metallic sheath (20) is attached proximate the leading edge (14) and extends to the root end (18). A metallic attachment fitting (30) has a receiver (32) configured to receive the root end (18) of the organic matrix composite guide vane (10) for coupling the organic matrix composite guide vane (10) to the metallic attachment fitting (30. The grounding clip (22) is coupled to the sheath (20) proximate the root end (18), wherein the grounding clip (22) is electrically connected to the metallic attachment fitting (30) and the metallic sheath (20).




Description

BACKGROUND



[0001] The present disclosure is directed to a grounding clip for a hybrid composite/metallic guide vane of a gas turbine engine.

[0002] Certain gas turbine engines include guide vanes made from organic matrix composite materials. These guide vanes can include a metallic sheath located at the leading edge of the guide vane. The metallic sheath functions to protect the composite materials of the guide vane. The composite guide vane and the metallic sheath can be attached to a guide vane attachment fitting to secure the vanes. The attachment fittings are located on either end of the guide vane. The attachment fittings are metallic.

[0003] Current designs utilize a metallic through-bolt that extends between the guide vane and the metallic attachment fitting to secure the guide vane. An adhesive is also utilized to secure the guide vane to the attachment fitting.

[0004] A grounding path is required to enable static electricity generated by airflow over the guide vane to discharge to the engine, or to allow for a grounding path in the event of lightning strike on an engine.

[0005] In order to properly function to conduct the electricity, the through-bolt relies on intimate electrical contact between the metallic attachment fitting and the through-bolt. The path of conduction can include flowing through the through-bolt to either the composite fibers themselves or to an embedded grounding strap within the composite vane, to make the electrical connection which provides the ground path. Other options for grounding the guide vane and metallic sheath can include coupling a jumper cable to the metallic sheath at the leading edge of the composite vane to the metallic fitting. The jumper cable can adversely affect aerodynamics, since it is exterior to the attachment fitting and exposed to the working fluid of the guide vane.

[0006] The presence of the adhesive between the guide vane and the metallic attachment fitting, as well as the gapping required to ensure the two pieces fit together, create difficult challenges for a design to have intimate contact along the sides of the guide vane and the attachment fitting. This inherent structure creates a problem for obtaining a robust electrical grounding path for the composite matrix guide vanes with the metallic sheath and metallic attachment fitting.

[0007] What is needed is a robust attachment scheme that includes an intimate electrical contact bridging the gaps between the guide vane, metallic sheath and metallic attachment fitting.

SUMMARY



[0008] In accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure, there is provided an apparatus comprising a grounding clip for an organic matrix composite guide vane with a metallic sheath, the apparatus comprising the organic matrix composite guide vane, which comprises a body having a leading edge and a trailing edge opposite the leading edge and a root end extending between the leading end edge and the trailing edge; the apparatus further comprising the metallic sheath attached proximate the leading edge and extending to the root end, and a metallic attachment fitting having a receiver configured to receive the root end of the organic matrix composite guide vane for coupling the organic matrix composite guide vane to the metallic attachment fitting; the apparatus further comprising the grounding clip coupled to the sheath proximate the root end; wherein the grounding clip is electrically connected to the metallic attachment fitting and the metallic sheath. In another aspect, the grounding clip itself may be claimed independently. In another aspect of the present disclosure, there is provided a grounding clip for an organic matrix composite guide vane with a metallic sheath comprising the organic matrix composite guide vane comprising a body having a leading edge and a trailing edge opposite the leading edge and a root end extending between the leading end edge and the trailing edge; the metallic sheath attached proximate the leading edge and extending to the root end; a metallic attachment fitting having a receiver configured to receive the root end of the organic matrix composite guide vane for coupling the organic matrix composite guide vane to the metallic attachment fitting; and the grounding clip coupled to the sheath proximate the root end; wherein the grounding clip is electrically connected to the metallic attachment fitting and the metallic sheath.

[0009] In an embodiment of any of the above aspects, the grounding clip further comprises an adhesive coupled to the organic matrix composite guide vane proximate the root end and coupled to the metallic attachment fitting, wherein the adhesive is configured to secure the organic matrix composite guide vane to the metallic attachment fitting.

[0010] In an embodiment of any of the above, the metallic sheath comprises an indent configured to engage the grounding clip.

[0011] In an embodiment of any of the above, the indent is located proximate the root end.

[0012] In an embodiment of any of the above, the grounding clip is secured within the receiver.

[0013] In an embodiment of any of the above, the grounding clip is interference fit into the receiver and the metallic sheath.

[0014] In an embodiment of any of the above, the metallic sheath extends partially into the receiver.

[0015] In an embodiment of any of the above, the grounding clip is a flexible material.

[0016] In an embodiment of any of the above, the grounding clip comprises a wire.

[0017] In an embodiment of any of the above, the grounding clip comprises a flattened metallic ribbon.

[0018] In an embodiment of any of the above, the grounding clip comprises a perforated ribbon.

[0019] In an embodiment of any of the above, the grounding clip comprises an electrically conductive material.

[0020] In an embodiment of any of the above, the adhesive penetrates at least a portion of the grounding clip.In accordance with an aspect the present disclosure, there is provided a process for electrically coupling an organic matrix composite guide vane metallic sheath to a metallic attachment fitting comprising attaching a grounding clip to a metallic sheath coupled over a portion of an organic matrix composite guide vane; coupling the organic matrix composite guide vane to a metallic attachment fitting; and electrically coupling the metallic sheath and the metallic attachment fitting through the grounding clip.

[0021] In an embodiment of this aspect, the process further comprises coupling the metallic sheath to the organic matrix composite guide vane along a leading edge of the composite guide vane.

[0022] In an embodiment of the above, the process further comprises coupling the grounding clip to the metallic sheath adjacent a root end of the organic matrix composite guide vane.

[0023] In an embodiment of any of the above, the process further comprises coupling an adhesive to the organic matrix composite guide vane proximate a root end and coupling the adhesive to the metallic attachment fitting, wherein the adhesive is configured to secure the organic matrix composite guide vane to the metallic attachment fitting.

[0024] In an embodiment of any of the above, the adhesive flows through a portion of the grounding clip to adhere to the metallic attachment fitting and the metallic sheath.

[0025] In an embodiment of any of the above, the grounding clip is secured within the receiver in the absence of an aerodynamic effect external to the receiver.

[0026] In an embodiment of any of the above, the process further comprises engaging the grounding clip within an indent formed in the metallic sheath.

[0027] Other details of the grounding clip are set forth in the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals depict like elements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0028] 

Fig. 1 is an exploded view of a schematic representation of an exemplary grounding clip attached to an organic matrix composite guide vane with metallic sheath.

Fig. 2 is a cross section of a schematic representation of an exemplary grounding clip attached to an organic matrix composite guide vane with metallic sheath inserted into a metallic attachment fitting.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0029] Referring now to Fig. 1, there is illustrated an organic matrix composite guide vane 10, such as a compressor vane. The organic matrix composite guide vane 10 has a body portion 12 with a leading edge 14 and a trailing edge 16 opposite the leading edge 14. A root end 18 is located between the leading edge 14 and the trailing edge 16. Surrounding a portion of the organic matrix composite guide vane 10 proximate the leading edge is a metallic sheath 20. In an alternative embodiment, metallic sheath 20 can be located over different portions of the body 12, in addition to the leading edge 14, such as over the trailing edge 16.

[0030] A grounding clip or simply clip 22 can be coupled to the metallic sheath 20. The grounding clip 22 can be attached over the exterior of the metallic sheath 20. The grounding clip 22 makes electrical contact with the metallic sheath 20, so that electricity can flow from the metallic sheath 20 through the grounding clip 22. The grounding clip 22 can include an open end 26 configured to receive the organic matrix composite guide vane 10 and metallic sheath 20. The grounding clip 22 can be a flexible material that biases against the metallic sheath 20. The grounding clip 22 can comprise a wire, a flattened metallic ribbon or a perforated ribbon material. The grounding clip 22 comprises an electrically conductive material.

[0031] An indent 28 can be formed in the metallic sheath 20. The indent 28 can be configured to receive a portion of the grounding clip 22. The indent 28 can be configured to secure the grounding clip 22 to the metallic sheath and organic matrix composite guide vane 10. The indent 28 can also function to secure the grounding clip 22 and maintain the electrical continuity between the grounding clip 22 and the metallic sheath 20. The indent 28 can be located proximate the root end 18.

[0032] A metallic attachment fitting 30 is configured to be coupled to the organic matrix composite guide vane 10. There can be a metallic attachment fitting 30 secured to the root end 18 and another metallic attachment fitting (not shown) attached to the opposite end (not shown). The metallic attachment fitting 30 includes a receiver 32. The receiver 32 is configured as a slot or pocket that encloses the root end 18 of the organic matrix composite guide vane 10. The receiver 32 has an arcuate shape that matches the guide vane 10. In an exemplary embodiment, the organic matrix composite guide vane 10 can include an undercut or cut-back portion 34 proximate the root end 18 to fit within the receiver 32.

[0033] An adhesive 36 can be utilized to secure the organic matrix composite guide vane 10 to the metallic attachment fitting 30. The adhesive 36 bonds the root end 18 of the organic matrix composite guide vane 10 inside the receiver 32 of the metallic attachment fitting 30.

[0034] In an exemplary embodiment, the grounding clip 22 can be configured so that the adhesive 36 penetrates at least a portion of the grounding clip 22. The adhesive 36 can flow through and around the grounding clip 22, so that the grounding clip 22 does not prevent the adhesive from forming a secure bond between the organic matrix composite guide vane 10 and the metallic attachment fitting 30.

[0035] In an exemplary embodiment, the grounding clip 22 can be attached to the metallic sheath 20 and remain within the receiver 32, such that the grounding clip 22 does not interfere with the aerodynamics of the fluid flowing past the organic matrix composite guide vane 10. The grounding clip 22 is contained within the confines of the receiver 32. The grounding clip 22 is secured within the receiver 32 in the absence of an aerodynamic effect external to said receiver 32. The guide vane 10, with the grounding clip 22 in place, is inserted into the metallic attachment fitting 30, such that the grounding clip 22 can deform and bridge between receiver sides 38 of the attachment fitting 30 to the indent 28 in the sheath 20. The grounding clip 22 is interference fit into the receiver 32 and the metallic sheath 20. After the guide vane 10 is bonded into the metallic attachment fitting 30, the grounding clip 22 can make the electrical connection between the guide vane leading edge 14 and the attachment fitting 30, providing the grounding path required by the engine.

[0036] An advantage of the grounding clip 22 is that the grounding clip 22 can be designed to be thin and flexible. If a bond quality is required of the adhesive 36, a perforated grounding clip 22 can allow the adhesive 36 to fully encapsulate the grounding clip 22. Thus the grounding clip 22 can allow for the adhesive 36 to flow instead of acting as a barrier.

[0037] The grounding clip can snap into place on the leading edge, and can be fully encapsulated within the receiver so as not to produce any external aerodynamic disruption that an external welded jumper could cause.

[0038] The exemplary guide vane includes a simplified design that eliminates the need to use a separate grounding cable embedded in the part.

[0039] The exemplary disclosed assembly design is simplified because grounding bolts on the inner diameter end of the vane and on the outer diameter end of the vane are no longer required, thus eliminating hardware, weight and cost.

[0040] There has been provided a grounding clip for an organic matrix composite guide vane with metallic sheath. While the grounding clip has been described in the context of specific embodiments thereof, other unforeseen alternatives, modifications, and variations may become apparent to those skilled in the art having read the foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace those alternatives, modifications, and variations which fall within the broad scope of the appended claims.


Claims

1. An apparatus comprising a grounding clip (22) for an organic matrix composite guide vane (10) with a metallic sheath (20), the apparatus comprising said organic matrix composite guide vane (10), which comprises a body (12) having a leading edge (14) and a trailing edge (16) opposite the leading edge (14) and a root end (18) extending between said leading edge (14) and said trailing edge (16), the apparatus further comprising said metallic sheath (20), which is attached proximate said leading edge (14) and extends to said root end (18),
wherein the apparatus further comprises:

a metallic attachment fitting (30) having a receiver (32) configured to receive said root end (18) of said organic matrix composite guide vane (10) for coupling said organic matrix composite guide vane (10) to said metallic attachment fitting (30),

wherein said grounding clip (22) is coupled to said sheath (20) proximate said root end (18), and said grounding clip (22) is electrically connected to said metallic attachment fitting (30) and said metallic sheath (20).


 
2. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:

an adhesive (36) coupled to said organic matrix composite guide vane (10) proximate said root end (18) and coupled to said metallic attachment fitting (30), wherein said adhesive (36) is configured to secure said organic matrix composite guide vane (10) to said metallic attachment fitting (30), wherein, optionally, said adhesive (36) penetrates at least a portion of said grounding clip (22).


 
3. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said metallic sheath (20) comprises an indent (28) configured to engage said grounding clip (22), wherein, optionally, said indent (28) is located proximate said root end (18).
 
4. The apparatus according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein said grounding clip (22) is secured within said receiver (32).
 
5. The apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein said grounding clip (22) is interference fit into said receiver (32) and said metallic sheath (20).
 
6. The apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein said metallic sheath (20) extends partially into said receiver (32) .
 
7. The apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein said grounding clip (22) is a flexible material.
 
8. The apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein said grounding clip (22) comprises:

a wire;

a flattened metallic ribbon; or

a perforated ribbon.


 
9. The apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein said grounding clip (22) comprises an electrically conductive material.
 
10. A process for electrically coupling an organic matrix composite guide vane metallic sheath (20) to a metallic attachment fitting (30) comprising:

attaching a grounding clip (22) to a metallic sheath (20) coupled over a portion of an organic matrix composite guide vane (10) ;

coupling said organic matrix composite guide vane (10) to a metallic attachment fitting (30); and

electrically coupling said metallic sheath (20) and said metallic attachment fitting (30) through said grounding clip (22) .


 
11. The process of claim 10, further comprising:
coupling said metallic sheath (20) to said organic matrix composite guide vane (10) along a leading edge (14) of said composite guide vane (20).
 
12. The process of claim 10 or 11, further comprising:
coupling said grounding clip (22) to said metallic sheath (20) adjacent a root end of said organic matrix composite guide vane (10).
 
13. The process of claim 10, 11 or 12, further comprising: coupling an adhesive (36) to said organic matrix composite guide vane (10) proximate a root end (18) and coupling said adhesive (36) to said metallic attachment fitting (30), wherein said adhesive (36) is configured to secure said organic matrix composite guide vane (10) to said metallic attachment fitting (30), and, optionally, said adhesive (36) flows through a portion of said grounding clip (22) to adhere to said metallic attachment fitting (30) and said metallic sheath (20).
 
14. The process of any of claims 10 to 13, wherein said grounding clip (22) is secured within said receiver (32) in the absence of an aerodynamic effect external to said receiver (32).
 
15. The process of any of claims 10 to 14, further comprising:
engaging said grounding clip (22) within an indent (28) formed in said metallic sheath (20).
 




Drawing