Increasing the efficiency of turbomachines is a major concern as it directly translates into lower environmental impact and improved operational costs. One solution is to reduce the blade-casing operating clearance in order to mitigate aerodynamic losses at the unavoidable cost of increased structural unilateral contact and friction occurrences. In centrifugal compressors, the dynamic behaviour of the structures interacting through unilateral contact and friction is not yet fully understood. In fact, the heat generated during such events may affect the dynamics through thermal stresses.

This paper presents a complete thermomechanical modelling strategy of impeller rotor and casing, and of blade-tip/casing contact events. A fully coupled thermomechanical modal synthesis technique is introduced and applied to turbomachinery-related models. The blisk is reduced via a hybrid modal synthesis technique combining the Craig-Bampton method and the characteristic constraint mode method. The casing model is reduced using an axisymmetric harmonic modal synthesis. Both strategies involve thermomechanical modes embedding thermal dilatation effects. The contact modelling algorithm is then introduced. It handles unilateral contact and friction occurrences together with heating effects. This algorithm uses the above mentioned reduced-order models as input data to avoid CPU-intensive simulations.

The results show that the thermomechanical behaviour of the structures is well preserved by the reduction strategy proposed. Contact simulations on simple cases show qualitative results in accordance with expectations.

Further work is needed in order to validate the strategy based on experimental results. However, this methodology opens the way to extended multiphysics simulations of contact events in turbomachinery.

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