NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio
A&P Technology, Cincinnati, Ohio
The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
Additional Contributing Authors:
James D. Dorer, Williams International
William R. Watson, Honeywell Aerospace
Triaxial braid composite materials are beginning to be used in fan cases for commercial gas turbine engines. The primary benefit for the use of composite materials is reduced weight and the associated reduction in fuel consumption. However, there are also cost benefits in some applications. This paper presents a description of the braided composite materials and discusses aspects of the braiding process that can be utilized for efficient fabrication of composite cases. The paper also presents an approach that was developed for evaluating the braided composite materials and composite fan cases in a ballistic impact laboratory. Impact of composite panels with a soft projectile is used for materials evaluation. Impact of composite fan cases with fan blades or blade-like projectiles is used to evaluate containment capability. A post-impact structural load test is used to evaluate the capability of the impacted fan case to survive dynamic loads during engine spool down. Validation of these new test methods is demonstrated by comparison with results of engine blade-out tests.