International Gear Conference: Safran Transmission Systems reveals the results of its research on the LEAP programme
Safran sponsored this latest edition of the International Gear Conference. What is the importance of this conference for Safran Transmission Systems?
This conference, which takes place every four years, brings together the top power transmission specialists from all over the world. It's a forum that provides us with an inventory of the progress that's been made in the field, not only in aeronautics but in other industrial sectors as well. It's a unique opportunity to learn about the level of research in the scientific community while networking with potential partners. We are also very pleased to be sponsoring this event and to be sharing our study on the vibrational behaviour of aerospace gears here. It puts Safran Transmission Systems in the spotlight and enables us to demonstrate our expertise.
Can you tell us about the objectives of this study?
This study is about facilitating the development of increasingly efficient aeroplane engines and boosting production for CFM International's* LEAP engine, which we help manufacture. Our goal is to increase the rotational speed of the gears while reducing their weight, thereby improving the performance of our equipment. The issue is that by changing the vibrational behaviour, structural components and pinions can experience premature wear and tear. As a result of this study, we now have a calculation tool that can determine the exact vibrational behaviour before testing and manufacturing pinions. This technique, which is used for the LEAP engine, has helped us manage the behaviour of our components.
How did you approach your research?
This calculation tool is the result of a real team effort, and particularly of the close collaboration between the design engineering office and the test department. We conducted the study in two phases. The first was the calculation phase aimed at estimating the vibrational behaviour of pinions and related phenomena. In the second phase, we ran tests on static pinions followed by rotating pinions, using dynamic measurement methods that became ever more efficient. These tests enabled us to validate our calculation method.
What will this study mean for Safran Transmission Systems and for the aerospace industry in general?
Knowing the behaviour of pinions prior to manufacturing them enables us to optimise their design and make sure they last while reducing their weight as much as possible. This foresight will also save money and improve customer satisfaction. Moreover, this deeper understanding of stress on our engine parts is critical for future innovations at Safran Transmission Systems.
*A joint-venture between Safran and GE
From left to right : Vincent Abousleiman (Safran Transmission Systems - co-author of the study), Zoltan Zsiga (Safran Aircraft Engines), Christophe Oulerich (Safran Aircraft Engines), Adrien Simon (Safran Transmission Systems) and Diane Gueudry (Safran Transmission Systems - co-author of the study).
Not in photo: Simon Thibault (Safran Tech) and Matthieu Herran (Safran Helicopter Engines)
Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 70,000 employees and generated sales of 17.4 billion euros in 2015. Safran is listed on Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index, as well as the Euro Stoxx 50 European index.
Safran Transmission Systems is the world's leading supplier of mechanical power transmission systems for both commercial and military aircraft. With some 35,000 delivered to date, the company holds 60% of the global market for mainline commercial jets (over 100 seats).