Unusual resonant responses were observed during spin pit tests of shrouded blades. The unusual behavior consisted of blades that exhibited strong response over a broad range of frequencies. The frequencies of peak response were considerably lower than predicted and were also lower than those observed in other tests of nominally identical wheels. In addition, the tracking plots of blade amplitudes versus frequency were truncated rather than displaying the usual sharp peaks seen in other tests. The unusual response is potentially dangerous since high vibratory response could be excited over a broad range of operating speeds.

The blades were designed to be free standing with gaps of approximately 10 milli-inches between neighboring shrouds. It is hypothesized that shroud contact at the blade tips could cause the unusual vibratory response. A simple model of a blade with shroud contact is developed in order to determine if shroud contact could cause blades to vibrate in the observed manner. The model is unusual in that it seeks to explore how contact could cause the blade to respond at lower (rather than higher) frequencies since contact typically increases the constraints on a structure and raises its natural frequencies.

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