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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 9, Issue 5, Pages 313-325

Weibull-Based Design Methodology for Rotating Structures in Aircraft Engines

1National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2United Airlines Maintenance, San Francisco, California, USA
3NASA Glenn Research Center, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland 44135, OH, USA

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The NASA Energy-Efficient Engine (E3-Engine) is used as the basis of a Weibull-based life and reliability analysis. Each component's life, and thus the engine's life, is defined by high-cycle fatigue or low-cycle fatigue. Knowing the cumulative life distribution of each of the components making up the engine as represented by a Weibull slope is a prerequisite to predicting the life and reliability of the entire engine. As the engine's Weibull slope increases, the predicted life decreases. The predicted engine lives L5 (95% probability of survival) of approximately 17,000 and 32,000 hr do correlate with current engine-maintenance practices without and with refurbishment, respectively. The individual high-pressure turbine (HPT) blade lives necessary to obtain a blade system life L0.1 (99.9% probability of survival) of 9000 hr for Weibull slopes of 3, 6, and 9 are 47,391; 20,652; and 15,658 hr, respectively. For a design life of the HPT disks having probable points of failure equal to or greater than 36,000 hr at a probability of survival of 99.9%, the predicted disk system life L0.1 can vary from 9408 to 24,911 hr.