In this paper, an improved wedge damper model is presented, based on which the effects of wedge dampers on the forced response of frictionally constrained blades are investigated. In the analysis, while the blade is modeled as a constrained structure, the damper is considered as an unconstrained structure. The model of the damper includes six rigid body modes and several elastic modes, the number of which depends on the excitation frequency. In other words, the motion of the damper is not artificially constrained. When modeling the contact surfaces of the wedge damper, discrete contact points along with contact stiffness are evenly distributed on the two contact surfaces. At each contact point, contact stiffness is determined and employed in order to take into account the effects of higher frequency modes that are omitted in the dynamic analysis. Depending on the engine rpm, quasi-static contact analysis is initially employed to determine the contact area as well as the initial preload or gap at each contact point due to the centrifugal force. A friction model is employed to determine the three-dimensional nonlinear contact forces and the relationship between the contact forces and the relative motion is utilized by the Harmonic Balance method. As the relative motion is expressed as a modal superposition, the unknown variables, and thus the resulting nonlinear algebraic equations, in the Harmonic Balance method is in proportion to the number of modes employed, and therefore the number of contact points used is irrelevant. The developed method is applied to tuned bladed disk system and the effects of normal load on the rigid body motion of the damper are investigated. It is shown that, the effect of rotational motion is significant, particularly for the in-phase vibration modes.

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