APPLICATION OF ELECTRIC CAPACITY MEASUREMENTS TO DETECTING DELAMINATION IN BLADES OF HELICOPTER’S LIFTING AND AUXILIARY ROTORS
This paper represents a series of the authors’ publications concerning effects of atmospheric conditions on aircraft [5-6, 11]. Hazards connected with separation ( delamination) of heating elements from blade’s spar , namely: increased susceptibility to ice formation as a result of change in aerodynamic profile, decreased deicing effectiveness, shortened life of heating elements , weakened strength of blade’s structure, are described. In order to monitor the above mentioned delamination process during its early phase, these authors proposed to measure systematically electric capacity between the heating element and blade’s spar by means of a technical method. The electric capacity measurements performed by these authors on blades both in laboratory and service conditions demonstrated their practical usefulness for assessing delamination extent as well as for identifying areas where heating element separation from spar occurred. The method in question is simple , cheap , fast and non-interferring (non-destructive) as well as it does not require dismounting the blades off the helicopter. As proved in practice , it is especially useful in sea-rescue or military operational conditions. Special attention was paid to application of the method to composite blades where coming-off the heating element tape causes local overheating the blade structure , that impairs flexibility of composite’s layers and may lead even to local cracks which may trigger helicopter crash. These authors desire to apply the method as a standard unit of on-board diagnostic system in the future.
Keywords:surface delamination of lifting blades, electric deicing installation, diagnostics of failures by using electric capacity measurements
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