Objectives and content
Active Magnetic Bearings (ABMs) offer the potential to
replace conventional bearings and oil lubrication systems
in aircraft engines, leading to reduced weight, reduced
fire hazard, more compact designs, increased power and
efficiency, and increased reliability and maintenance
Medium-sized ABMs are already used in machine tools to
obtain high accuracy at high speed and the on-line
control of these devices is well developed. ABMs allow
higher bearing velocities than conventional oillubricated bearings, permitting higher rotational speeds
for large shafts.
However, current AMB designs operate at about the same
maximum temperature as oil bearings, about 150 C. They
do not have the ability to survive massive overloads,
such as are caused by heavy landings or blade-off
conditions in aero engines, or earthquakes in power
This basic research project investigates the proposals
for ABMs to be used in aero-engines in three areas:
dynamics of the rotor and bearings in extreme load
elevated-temperature operation of the ABMs with a
target of 540 C.
alternative design concept studies to realise the full
potential of using advanced ABMs in aero-engines.
The project will focus on investigating materials and
designs to cope with these problems, and to develop
analytical tools to predict the performance. Two test
rigs will validate the prediction methods and demonstrate
the improvements achieved.
The advanced technology developed in this project will be
applicable to other gas-turbine designs and to a wide
range of high-technology machines such as pumps and
compressors, increasing their safety and efficiency.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts