Future fuel-efficient gas turbine get engines run hotter, make component testing more critical

May 11, 2011

Test Devices Inc. developing new 2,000 degree F Spin Test

Hudson, MA – February 10, 2011 – Hiroaki Endo Ph.D. has a critical new job and mandate at Test Devices Inc, one of the world’s leading spin testing equipment and services firms. As the company’s new Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Endo is leading a project to develop new ways to test components of future gas turbine engines – engines that will be more fuel-efficient but run hotter and expose components to more extreme conditions than predecessor models. “Safety can’t be compromised in aerospace or any other industry. We cannot risk failure or jeopardize lives for the sake of efficiency,” said Dr. Endo.

With the soaring prices of jet fuel, the airline industry is facing an urgent need to equip its aircraft with more fuel-efficient engines – and this is putting immense pressure on manufacturers to design & build engines that burn less fuel. “Engines with greater fuel efficiency run hotter, and under higher pressures; quite often this also means at higher rotor speeds as well. Testing options that simulate these conditions are attractive to validate the performance of critical components. Isolating and controlling the conditions in component testing is useful to gather critical information in advance of full system engine tests. Test Devices is currently developing such solutions,” said Dr. Endo.

Under current operating conditions engine components ordinarily face stress and degradation through thermal expansion, creep and hot corrosion When an engine runs hotter and harder it extracts more energy from the fuel, making the engine more fuel efficient; but this extreme heat puts added stress on components such as blades and rotors. Test Devices is developing equipment and methodologies to help evaluate the performance of components in an environment beyond 1400F limit for heat application and to better simulate real world engine conditions.

Recent accomplishments and developments underway at Test Devices are:

  • Validation Testing of critical components with rim-to-bore thermal gradient of over 300F, at temperatures over 1300F.
  • Durability testing with thermal gradient and temperatures up to 2000F
  • High Cycle fatigue Spin Testing of the vibratory modes of airfoils at elevated temperatures

Test Devices has successfully demonstrated the ability to simulate high order vibratory modes of airfoils in hot conditions. By applying extreme thermal conditions, centrifugal load and relevant vibratory excitations to blades and rotors, Test Devices can create test conditions that are closely representative of the real engine environment. Data from the test helps engineers and scientists understand and validate the life and integrity of critical engine components. The test data can also help design engineers refine their assumptions, models, and material selection.

“Our test validates the safety of the engine and its components, making sure they operate reliably and safely without failure under extremely hot, vibratory conditions and centrifugal load,” said Dr. Endo.


About Dr. Endo
Dr. Endo joined Test Devices after a successful period in analytics and lifing group at Rolls Royce, PLC. He began his career at Test Devices as Senior and then Chief Engineer before being promoted to Chief Technology Officer. Throughout his career he has developed and enhanced a wide array of new and existing testing technologies. He has published numerous papers and studies in industry journals and has made many presentations to international gatherings of design engineers. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New South Wales in Sydney NSW, Australia.

The number and types of spin tests Dr. Endo has completed distinguishes him as a unique scientist with highly specialized expertise, skills, knowledge and commitment to the spin testing industry. “My responsibility as a citizen of this testing community and my contribution is that I help make gas turbines safer and more reliable. We provide data that helps engineers improve and push technology forward.”


About Test Devices
For over 30 years, Test Devices, Inc. has been the world’s premier source for rotational testing equipment and services. Test Devices provides advanced technology spin testing services to customers in a wide variety of industries. The company works with developers and producers of high-speed rotational components of jet engines, gas turbines, medical centrifuges, machine tools, industrial compressors, and high-speed electric motors, among others. For more information contact David Woodford at +1-978-562-4923, woodford@testdevices.com, or visit www.testdevices.com.