This study investigated the rigidity and contact state of joint structures that influenced the rotor dynamic characteristics and imbalance response, and the curve for variable structure parameters and the external load. The consideration of rotor joint structures dynamics design was also discussed. The finite-element models were established by using 3D solid elements and surface-to-surface nonlinear contact elements between the interfaces for numerical analysis. The rotor dynamic characteristics were affected by the rigidity of joint structures, and the rotor imbalance response was affected by the contact state of the interfaces. The experimentation for measuring the static rigidity and dynamic contact state of bolted joints with different experimental cycles were performed. Both numerical simulation and experimental results showed that: Firstly, the stiffness of joint structures was not constant. There was a critical load Fcr, when the external load was less than Fcr, the stiffness of joint structures was K1; when the external load was more than Fcr, the bend stiffness of joint structures would drop to K2. The critical load Fcr was influenced by the length of interfaces and preload. Secondly, the contact state of joint structure interfaces varied after a long time of operating with alternating loads. The rotor imbalance was increased by fatigue damage accumulation and irreversible deformation. The study results show that the rigidity and contact state of joint structures vary with external loads and geometry structures, and would affect the rotor system operating. It is advisable to consider the influence of the position, structural parameter and external load of the rotor joint structures on aero-engine structure dynamics design.

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