AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
The three objectives of this research were to 1. design, build, and test AM compressors to substitute into COTS micro-gas turbine engines, 2. provide initial correlations between FEA and compressor failure speed, and 3. characterize the effects of AM on compressor performance. These goals improved the design cycle cost and the design-validation time cycle. ULTEM 9085, 300-AMB, and Onyx-Kevlar temperature-dependent tensile properties were measured. FEA-predicted failure speeds of stock compressor designs led design improvements, potentially fulfilling the original compressor requirements. Physical testing of the stock and ULTEM 9085 compressors occurred. Comparing these compressors performances demonstrated that low cost, AM materials are viable alternatives for certain micro-turbine applications. An improved Onyx-Carbon Fiber compressor was tested to failure. These results provide a proof of concept supporting AM compressors, improving the development time cycle. This approach enables high-risk yet low-cost research and development. Additionally, with proper mission planning, low-cost AM compressors could provide significant improvements to engine cost and weight for limited-life applications.