Problems with Measuring Aerofoils

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Title: Problems with Measuring Aerofoils - Solutions by Solartron


Publish date: 26/6/2018



Aerofoils are an awkward shape to get an accurate profile analysis of due to the complexity of the curve.  They occur in more than one place in aerospace engineering so it’s vital for us to provide probes which can measure them with as greater level of accuracy as possible.  To celebrate the 5th IEEE International Workshop on Metrology for Aerospace in Rome this month, we wanted to highlight an occasion where we overcame these difficulties.  Recently, we worked with a company who needed to measure turbine blades so were faced with measuring an aerofoil and we suggested using our standard range of Digital Pneumatic Probes.

Why it's so Difficult

Not only are complex curves difficult to measure because of their shape, the position of turbine blades can vary greatly in free space which can lead to inaccuracies at high volumes.  The shape itself means that to take an accurate reading of the profile the relationship of various measuring points need to be maintained which means measurements need to be taken in as short a time as possible.  As with most aerospace applications, accuracy is essential in establishing the profile of a turbine blade so, with the above difficulties, finding the perfect solution didn’t appear to be easy.

Why Digital Pneumatic Probes are the Best Solution

Readings have to be taken very fast to be accurate for this application so we recommended using our 10mm Digital Pneumatic Probes along with our Orbit 3 Network as it can take up to 4,000 readings per second.  They also work well in this circumstance because they are linear along the full travel and can resolve up to 0.01microns.  With accuracy of up to 0.05% of reading and repeatability up to 0.15microns, these probes provide the level of reliability the aerospace industry demands.  Having probes fail during operation is incredibly inconvenient in all applications but it can be very vexing in this one because of the tight tolerances involved and the need for as efficient an operation as possible.  That’s why our pneumatic probes are particularly suitable as the pneumatic actuation means the blades can be loaded into a fixture with a minimum number of moving parts.  Having as simple a fixture as possible reduces the chances of errors occur and saves money in the long run.

Other Applications

These probes actuate by having a pressurised gaiter which means it can be totally sealed so has a very long working life in wet or oily conditions.  This makes them perfect for lots of aerospace and other industry applications.  Used alongside our Orbit Network, they can take fast reliable measurements which can be easily used and interpreted through an interface unit connected to a PC.  The Orbit Network can work with a wide variety of probes all operating at once to provide all the data you need.

Our expert sales team are more than happy to talk to people in the aerospace industry, or any other industry for that matter, about measuring solutions.  If we don’t have a probe that perfectly fits your needs, we can create one to produce the sort of reliable, accurate and easy to access data your operation relies on.  Speak to our team by calling +44 (0)1243 833333 or email