Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Darris White

First Committee Member

Dr. Charles Reinholtz


Full scale blade testing provides blade manufacturers with quantitative data regarding their blade design, manufacturing processes and durability. Structural fatigue tests are designed to assess the structural health of the turbine blade as well as simulate a lifespan worth of damage in a laboratory environment. These tests also provide a further understanding of the dynamics involved in modern turbine blades. Blade tests are typically conducted in one of the following manners: a dual-axis forced displacement, single axis or dual axis resonant configurations. Historically, fatigue testing has been performed by utilizing forced displacement systems. These systems do not allow for the load phase angle to be controlled, which leads to inaccurate loading distributions, when compared to actual field gathered data. The PhLEX (Phase Locked Excitation System) testing method outlined herein utilizes resonant excitation system in order to reduce energy requirements, decrease test duration and improve overall loading distributed.