Endless Fibre Reinforced Composite-Metal-Impeller: Material Related Design and Dimensioning Process for Hybrid Radial-Fans
1.2 Fan Design & Materials
Due to their excellent mechanical properties, composite materials are becoming increasingly important for energy-related applications. The combination of endless-fibre-reinforced plastic with metallic components allows new hybrid metal-composite-design (MCD), which provides considerable advantages compared to conventional constructions. Innovative approaches of MCD are almost predestined for highly loaded structures like radial impellers, where they show considerable benefits particularly in the optimised use of the materials and the flexible design. Therefore, future concepts can be realised with at least the same functionality but with an increased circumferential speed. In addition to the high efficiency, MCD also enable the possibility of modular concepts which leads to an improvement of the qualification and maintenances processes.
The variety of individual and adjustable material, structural and process parameters result in a complex multi-level design and dimensioning process which impede the practical implementation of radial impellers made of a MCD. The number of the parameters increases enormously, which also leads to numerous possible combinations compared to conventional concepts made of metallic materials. Additional the strong interaction of the disciplines design, dimensioning and manufacturing have to be considered for an efficient design process of hybrid composite structures. Interaction therefore means that the dimensioning process depends on the used manufacturing process. However, the resulting structure of the material yields a related dimensioning and manufacturing process. The manufacturing process also affects the emerging material and influences the possibilities of the construction design, which is classified as an interactive construction and manufacturing process. Metal-material specialized companies will face a new challenge by developing and manufacturing metal-fibre-composite radial impellers for high efficiency applications.
An enhanced interaction of the dimensioning process, with the construction and manufacturing methods and the usage of material based dimensioning methods permits a significant shortening of development times and a reduction of development costs for radial impellers as MCD structures. An example of such a linked product development process for a fibre-composite radial impeller for Technology Readiness Level 1 - 3 is the subject of this paper.
Keywords: Composite Material, Radial Fan, Hybrid Design, Interactive Design Process