Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way
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Knowledge-Integrated Solution Heat-Treatment Process for Turbine Airfoils

Objective

Reduce cost of superalloy turbine airfoils for military jet engines by optimizing the solution heat-treatment process.

Technical Approach

  • Assess the effects of thermal treatment conditions on the microstructure of turbine airfoils
  • Develop a dissolution model to simulate microstructure evolution during the solution heat-treatment process
  • Establish optimized conditions for the solution heat-treatment process
  • Validate optimized process at qualified production heat-treatment furnaces

Benefits

The estimated procurement cost savings for turbine engine components is greater than $2.5 million over 7 years for F404 and F414 engines.

Implementation

An integrated project team consisting of General Electric Aircraft Engines (GEAE) (F404/F414 manufacture), PCC Airfoils and Howmet (casting and solution heat treatment vendors) and the NCEMT was assembled to transition the project results into the manufacture of F404/F414 components. Technical reports and a debriefing were used to transition the technology to industry at large. Two of three optimized processes (with an approximate 50-percent processing time reduction) developed by the NCEMT in this project were implemented into production procedures at PCC Airfoils and Howmet through the approval of engine manufacturer GEAE.

Status

Completed