High Speed Thrust Balance Driveline

High performance compressor test driveline with integral thrust balance system.

With a new family of 35MW HP aero compressors, a leading Chinese aerospace company were developing a new cell capable of qualifying and testing product variants throughout the next 25 years. The design philosophy called for the exclusion of any tilt pad thrust bearing within the mounting of their compressors as such an arrangement introduces inaccuracies in the torque measurement onto the driveline. Turning to Torquemeters and MDS to develop a solution, Torquemeters proposed the concept of introducing a tilt pad thrust bearing assembly mounted within the torquemeter to enable the measurement of the torque before the thrust is balanced.

The thrust to be balanced from the compressor family was up to 220,000N and the torquemeter / thrust balancing unit was connected to the test article with a titanium coupling which included a tie bar to transmit the thrust loading. After the torquemeter / thrust balancing unit an untied coupling was utilised to connect to the gearbox, accommodating the expected axial expansion of the compressor shaft (+/-7mm) movement. The driveline capability was designed to handle 20,000rpm and 16,000Nm of torque.

Key features of the installation include;

  • Complete transmission solution from the test article to the gearbox.
  • One single supplier responsible for the driveline
  • Single driveline capable to test HP compressor family

Accurate torque measurement