October 1, 2012
I hope this newsletter finds you well and prosperous as we near the end of 2012. In our previous issue, we introduced our technical focus for the year. In this issue, I’d like to provide you with a report on our progress.
Development of enhanced High Cycle Fatigue (HCF) capabilities
We completed a Phase I Navy SBIR this summer, which included an analysis of multiple excitation methods to achieve higher order, heated test conditions. After reviewing the results from piezoelectric, magnetic bearing and active aero-pulse methods, we have committed to an internally funded, phased development of Active Aero-pulse excitation. The goal of this effort is to augment our existing excitation methods (Liquid Jet and Aerodynamic Pulse Generation or APG) to offer higher strain amplitudes, higher order modes and elevated temperature conditions. The modes, strain levels and temperatures were chosen in order to support testing related to the Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engine (VAATE) program. We expect to be running Phase I tests before year’s end.
Real-Time Crack Detection and enhanced in-pit balancing:
We have completed our first generation in-pit balancing systems and they have been deployed to some of our most recent equipment customers. We are already working on the first upgrade to this capability.
Our real-time Crack Detection System is already an industry standard for LCF testing and arguably the most capable system fielded today. We have approved funding for the next generation Crack Detection System and are just getting under way.
Expansion of electric drive system offerings:
We have deployed multiple high-power electric drives in the field for maximum performance in the 0-25,000 rpm range (big parts). We are in the process of installing the same drive system in-house.
Work for an electric drive in the 0-65,000 rpm range is also underway. Over 50% of the testing we perform falls into one of these two speed ranges so it makes the most sense to focus here next. The target date for deployment of this drive system is
Finally, we are completing the development of a 500 Hp motor-generator for flywheel energy recovery. This government sponsored effort leverages our previous experience in energy storage and recycling.
Our other accomplishments include the large rig and infrastructure investments outlined in other features of this newsletter, as well as:
- CAE modeling and analysis of dynamic response with TDI’s existing APG excitation method for HCF testing
- Design of a probe rake that enables visualization of blade shapes during HCF testing
- First TDI tests using radar probes for HCF testing
We are considering additional opportunities to improve our processes and methods as part of our 2013 planning. I encourage employees, customers and friends to send me any thoughts or ideas.