Rolls-Royce Teams up with ANSYS to Develop Breakthrough Technology for Jet Engines

Simulation is being used to help design the next generation of gearboxes.

Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has teamed up with ANSYS and the University of Nottingham in a five-year collaboration that seeks to develop revolutionary new technologies for gas turbine aero engines.

The collaboration will see the trio utilizing the latest simulation technology for the development of engine bearing chambers, internal gearboxes and optimized fluid systems.

The project, dubbed AERIS, is part of the Clean Sky 2 initiative, where the university is a Core Partner and Member of the Systems, Airframes and Engines Integrated Technology Demonstrators (ITD).

Rolls-Royce gas turbine engine (Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce.)

Rolls-Royce gas turbine engine (Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce.)

The Clean Sky2 initiative builds on 10 years of research conducted at the University of Nottingham’s Gas Turbine and Transmissions Research Centre (G2TRC), headed by Professor Herve Morvan, director of the Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT).

“Clean Sky 2 includes physical demonstrators that integrate several technologies at a larger aircraft level and show how they work under operating conditions,” said Morvan. “This helps to determine their potential and enables them to reach a higher level of maturity. The ability to do this virtually is really important—software demonstration is a significant way of delivering innovation and competitiveness to the aerospace sector. However, demonstration is not limited to physical hardware. It is essential to develop and progress designs and computational methods—and this is what AERIS is about. This is an essential task which supports competitiveness through the reduction of design times.”

AERIS will make use of the expertise of the IAT, which holds a portfolio of 15 other aviation industry projects worth €38 million that are directly tied to meeting the goals of Clean Sky 2.

“ANSYS is thrilled to collaborate with Rolls-Royce and the University of Nottingham to achieve the highly challenging goals set by Clean Sky 2,” said Paolo Colombo, director, Industry Marketing, Aerospace and Defence at ANSYS. “We will increase the robustness and speed of multiphase technology and introduce the ability to transition between multiphase regimes—key capabilities to design the next generation of cleaner and quieter aero engines.”