REF2014 Impact Case Study: Improved service life management of safety critical aero-engine components subject to foreign object damage

  • Jie Tong (Participant)

    Impact: Economic & Commercial Impacts, Other Impacts

    Description of impact

    Research at Portsmouth has had a major impact on risk reduction, improved service life and reduced inspection/maintenance costs of safety critical and expensive fan and compressor components in military and civil aero-engines.

    Who is affected

    International aero-engine industry.


    Researchers in the technology faculty are internationally recognised for their research into the study of fatigue in aero-engine materials and components, and have worked closely with Rolls Royce. Rotating aerofoils experience both high cycle fatigue (HCF) from vibrations and low cycle fatigue (LCF) from large variations of centrifugal and thermal stresses. The Portsmouth team is recognised for studies combining both HCF and LCF loading conditions.
    As part of this ongoing research, ingestion of small foreign particles into an aero-engine resulting in Foreign Object Damage (FOD) combined with HCF and LCF fatigues was seen as a limiting factor affecting component life. A range of composite materials were examined using simulation of flight cycles for combat aircraft. In particular, determining both design stress levels and tolerable FOD damage size for aero engine components such as fan and compressor blades was achieved. This resulted in impacts relating to improving flight safely for pilots, as well as minimizing the service intervals for the aero engine components. Similar research has been undertaken for civil aircraft, increasing the level of safety for passengers and crew. It has also increased the service intervals for aircraft resulting in some economic impact to passengers in relation to reducing airfares.
    Impact statusOpen
    Category of impactEconomic & Commercial Impacts, Other Impacts
    Impact levelAdoption (implementation stage)


    • REF2014