MORGAN ADVANCED MATERIALS: Alumina Material for Turbine Engine Blade Manufacturing
According to Morgan, the new material shortens leaching cycles for alumina core support rods used in the production of turbine engine blades while still providing the significant mechanical strength needed for robust production.
Morgan Advanced Materials has developed a proprietary alumina-based leachable material that reportedly cuts investment casting times in turbine engine blades by up to 20%. The development comes as the commercial aerospace industry is facing a significant overhaul. Market Research Future’s “Commercial Aircraft Turbine Blades and Vanes Market” forecasts growth at a CAGR of 6% by 2023.
High fuel prices, stricter regulations on noise and carbon dioxide emissions, and an increase in competition from low-cost carriers are factors that are forcing manufacturers to develop modern aero-engines that are lightweight and fuel efficient. To help aerospace investment casting businesses meet this surge in demand, the Technical Ceramics business of Morgan Advanced Materials has developed the LEMA™ range of proprietary alumina-based materials. According to Morgan, the new material shortens leaching cycles for alumina core support rods used in the production of turbine engine blades while still providing the significant mechanical strength needed for robust production.
Typical alumina rods are renowned for their strength and load-bearing capabilities. However, it can take several days to fully leach the materials, resulting in delays within the production process. In comparison, like-for-like LEMA 250 parts will experience approximately a 20% mass reduction after 20 hs (at 300°F (149°C) and 185 psi). A comparable alumina part to LEMA 250 does not show any mass loss under the same conditions.
“At a time when demand for turbine engine blades is expected to grow substantially over the next few years, the enhanced leachability of LEMA rods has been developed at exactly the right moment to help shorten processing times for casting manufacturers,” said Jennifer Kachala, product engineer at Morgan’s Technical Ceramics business. “Investment casting businesses will need to prove they can meet demand for the ramping build schedules of new engine programs. LEMA can help them achieve this while saving on costs.”
The enhanced leachability of LEMA reportedly drives more cost and time savings. While quartz support rods can offer a cost-effective solution to alumina in terms of leachability, they do not have the mechanical strength of LEMA, according to Morgan. This makes them less suitable for applications where part geometries and alloys require higher strength support rods. LEMA components are approximately 1.5 times stronger than quartz equivalents.
For more information visit www.morganadvancedmaterials.com.