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An investigation into coordinate measuring machine task specific measurement uncertainty and automated conformance assessment of airfoil leading edge profiles

Lobato, Hugo Manuael Pinto (2012)
Eng.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The growing demand for ever more greener aero engines has led to ever more challenging designs and higher quality products. An investigation into Coordinate Measuring Machine measurement uncertainty using physical measurements and virtual simulations revealed that there were several factors that can affect the measurement uncertainty of a specific task. Measurement uncertainty can be affected by temperature, form error and measurement strategy as well as Coordinate Measuring Machine specification. Furthermore the sensitivity of circular features size and position varied, when applying different substitute geometry algorithms was demonstrated. The Least Squares Circle algorithm was found to be more stable when compared with the Maximum Inscribed Circle and the Minimum Circumscribed Circle. In all experiments it was found that the standard deviation when applying Least Squares Circle was of smaller magnitude but similar trends when compared with Maximum Inscribed Circle and the Minimum Circumscribed Circle. A Virtual Coordinate Measuring Machine was evaluated by simulating physical measurement scenarios of different artefacts and different features. The results revealed good correlation between physical measurements uncertainty results and the virtual simulations. A novel methodology for the automated assessment of leading edge airfoil profiles was developed by extracting the curvature of airfoil leading edge, and the method lead to a patent where undesirable features such as flats or rapid changes in curvature could be identified and sentenced. A software package named Blade Inspect was developed in conjunction with Aachen (Fraunhoufer) University for the automated assessment and integrated with a shop floor execution system in a pre-production facility. The software used a curvature tolerancing method to sentence the leading edge profiles which aimed at removing the subjectivity associated with the manual vision inspection method. Initial trials in the pre-production facility showed that the software could sentence 200 profiles in 5 minutes successfully. This resulted in a significant improvement over the current manual visual inspection method which required 3 hours to assess the same number of leading edge profiles.

Type of Work:Eng.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Bowen, Paul and Maropoulos, Paul and Orchard, Nicholas
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:Structural Materials Research Centre, School of Metallurgy and Materials
Subjects:QA76 Computer software
TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
TS Manufactures
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3439
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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