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Title: An investigation into coordinate measuring machine task specific measurement uncertainty and automated conformance assessment of airfoil leading edge profiles
Author: Lobato, Hugo Manuael Pinto
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 6429
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2012
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA76 Computer software ; TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics ; TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy ; TS Manufactures