The numerical coupled optimization of an underplatform damper is the exploration of its dynamics through a finite element model which includes both the damper and the blades. This is an effective approach if the initial damper mass and geometry have been previously selected in such a way that those parameter combinations leading to undesirable damper behavior (i.e. contact point lift-off, jamming, excessive contact forces) are ruled out a priori. This can be obtained through a pre-optimization where, after choosing the damper type the following main steps are followed:

1. ensure that damper jamming is avoided through an appropriate choice of platform angles, in function of the friction coefficients;

2. ensure that damper lift-off is avoided through an appropriate choice of the shape and position of the damper-platform flat contact surface and the position of the damper mass center;

3. set upper and lower limits to the value of damper-platform contact forces (as a multiple of the damper centrifugal force), the first being related to friction and wear problems, the second to the very existence of bilateral contacts;

4. check the model, and in particular the values of friction coefficients and contact stiffness, against experimental results.

Once the above knowledge concerning the most desirable damper shape has been gathered an effective coupled-optimization can safely be performed. This is done by finding the most effective match between the damper size/mass and the bladed disk through a non-linear dynamic calculation (not examined in this paper). The outcome of both the pre-optimization and the coupled optimization are strongly dependent on the assumed values of friction coefficients, which depend on the contact surface type (then, different for the left and right side of the damper) and the contact pressure.

The paper capitalizes on already developed tools, presented in previous ASME papers, such as the test rig developed by the AERMEC lab to draw the appropriate values of contact parameters, the numerical model representing the stand-alone dynamics of the damper between the platforms and the automatic random sampling tuning procedure. The purpose of the paper is to illustrate the procedure through the analysis of a family of rigid bar dampers with a curved-flat cross section.

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