Validating simulation results of vibrating turbine blades relies on measurements of realistic or academic cyclic structures on special test rigs. In real operation the blades are excited mainly by aerodynamic forces. For measurements of blade vibration on special test rigs, the excitation should be well known. It is desirable to use excitation spectra that consist of only a few engine order excitations. Especially for nonlinear systems, unwanted excitation orders can possibly lead to nonlinear effects which may interfere with the measurement. To separate different engine orders, an innovative electromagnetic excitation device was developed at the institution to overcome the aforementioned problems. The excitation force spectrum is controlled by a variable air gap over the circumference between device and blade. Any desired engine order excitation can be realized. Additionally, by varying the devices coil current in a harmonic fashion, frequency sweeps at constant speed can be performed. In this paper an extensive study of the excitation force spectrum of the device is conducted. Therefore, theoretical investigations of the expectable spectrum are given under simultaneous variation of air gap geometry and excitation current. These predictions are then validated by experiments featuring a small, academic bladed disk. The vibrations of the blades are measured. The device promises to create well predictable and controllable excitation force spectra which will improve the validation strategy in particular of non-linear simulation tools for the prediction of turbine blade vibrations.

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