Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way
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Enhanced Powder Metallurgy Processing of Superalloys for Aircraft Engine Components

Objective

Demonstrate the applicability of enhanced powder metallurgy (P/M) processing of superalloys to the cost-effective production of superior quality weapons systems components, specifically turbine disks for aircraft engines.

Technical Approach

  • Combine hot isostatic pressing (HIP) extrusion of ultra-fine metal powders with isothermal forging and selective sonic inspection to optimize the process and minimize scrap
  • Optimize adaptation through process experimentation and modeling
  • Validate technical and cost advantages of ultra-fine powder, extrusion practice and selective sonic inspection
  • Characterize structure and properties of disks made by the optimized process
  • Verify technology by manufacturing and evaluating third-stage disks for the AE1107C turbine engine (two disks were successfully spin tested to 114,550 cycles).

Benefits

The cost of P/M turbine disks in the AE engine series will be reduced by 17 percent as compared to current practices, an additional 5–10 percent cost savings can be realized if selective ultrasonic testing is implemented.

Implementation

An integrated project team consisting of Rolls-Royce Corporation (engine manufacturer), Ladish (forging vendor), Special Metals (powder metal/extruded billet vendor) and the NCEMT was assembled to transition the project results into the manufacture of AE1107C stage-three disks. User group meetings, technical reports and draft process specifications were used to transition the technology to industry at large.

Status

Completed