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Mechanical Integrity for Advance Transmission Systems

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New advances in Aero-engine transmission systems

As with all leading industries, the aeronautical industry is keeping abreast with the new developments in technology. Many advances are being made in improving aero-engine transmission systems, addressing issues such as safety and reliability, emissions and the environment.

Industrial Technologies

Facing the challenges of today, research in aero-engine transmission and oil systems is underway in order to develop new design rules, new components and new analytical methods. In a 3 year project, the INTRAS research team has made advances in numerous aspects of two-phase air/oil system interactions in fields including chamber sealing, air/oil separation, oil-firing, oil film dynamics and vent line losses associated with aero engine bearing chambers. The research team was made up from 13 partners from the aero-engine industries and four universities. Seal design was an area investigated and a numerical code was developed in order to improve seal performance. This in itself proved to be a useful system for seal evaluation and the development of prototype seal designs. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) models of a number of air/oil separating devices were generated which helped to quantify the phenomenon of air/oil separation. The efficiency of such separators is vital since the emissions are of environmental concern. To assess two-phase oil flow regimes in bearing chambers and improve their thermal management efficiency an optical anemometer was successfully developed and implemented. Safety and reliability are being addressed by focusing on oil ignition data and the necessary fire suppression measures in aero-engine bearing chambers. The subjects of gear thermal behaviour, lubrication systems and power loss are also being tackled. From the data obtained from these CFDs and other modelling techniques which have been developed in the project, the improvement of existing, and the development of new aero engines is already taking shape. These will create a more efficient and environmentally friendly aero-engine for the future.

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