The need to reduce pollutant emissions leads the engineers to design new aeronautic combustors characterized by lean burn at relatively low temperatures. This requirement can easily cause flame instability phenomena and consequent pressure pulsations which may seriously damage combustor’s structure and/or compromise its fatigue life.
Hence the need to study the combustor’s structural dynamics and the interaction between elastic, thermal and acoustic phenomena. Finite element method represent a largely used and fairly reliable tool to address these studies; on the other hand, the idealization process may bring to results quite far from the reality whereas too simplifying assumptions are made.
Constraints modelling represent a key-issue for all dynamic FE analyses; a wrong simulation of the constraints may indeed compromise entire analyses although running on very accurate and mesh-refined structural models.
In this paper, a probabilistic approach to characterize the influence of external constraints on the modal behaviour of an aircraft combustor-rig is presented. The finite element model validation was performed at first by comparing numerical and experimental results for the free-free condition (no constraints). Once the model was validated, the effect of constraints elasticity on natural frequencies was investigated by means of a probabilistic design simulation (PDS); referring to a specific tool developed in the ANSYS®software, a preliminary statistical analysis was at performed via Monte-Carlo Simulation (MCS) method. The results were then correlated with the experimental ones via Response Surface Method (RSM).