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Next gEneration loW pressure TurbinE Airfoils by aM

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NEWTEAM (Next gEneration loW pressure TurbinE Airfoils by aM)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-04-30

The aim of NEWTEAM project is to develop and assess alloys by Powder Bed Additive Manufacturing (PB-AM) processes, with the goal to apply them on next generation of low pressure turbine (LPT) blades production.
- NEWTEAM will develop a modification in terms of chemical composition for the Ti-48Al-2Cr-2Nb alloy tailored on the needs of Electron Beam Melting (EBM) process and contemporary NEWTEAM will develop an optimization of the post processing heat treatments of this alloy both in terms of Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) and Heat Treatment (HT) customized to exploit the feature microstructure and phase composition of as-EBM material in order to increase the mechanical performances.
- NEWTEAM will increase the Topic Manager portfolio in terms of Nickel-base superalloys processed by Laser Beam Melting (LBM) for high temperature applications to be employed for LPT blades, performing an extensive optimization of the LBM process parameters for 2 Ni-base alloys. Contemporary NEWTEAM will develop an optimization of the post processing heat treatments of these alloys both in terms of HIP, HT and part surface finishing.
- NEWTEAM will test and validate the 3 materials developed during the project (1 Ti-48-2-2 based + 2 Ni-base alloys) with an extensive mechanical characterization with at least a NADCAP certification.
- NEWTEAM will fabricate representative LPT blades via PB-AM together with non-conventional hollow ones. The final goal is to achieve at least a TRL 3.
- NEWTEAM will develop an enhanced process simulation tool for EBM process, tailored on Titanium Aluminides alloys capable to give information about the properties of the material in terms of final chemistry and microstructure.
- NEWTEAM will develop a surface finishing post processing for complex shapes (like hollow blades) produced by LBM in Ni-base alloys in order to avoid the needs of machining of the parts since machining means to limit the freedom of shape complexity, that is in principle enabled by AM design.
NEWTEAM project, as a part of the CS2 program, will give an important contribution on the EU aviation. The project will contribute to the economic and social raise of the aviation sector, and, as a result to a general economic growth.
Within the first 18 months of the NEWTEAM project, slightly less than 50% of the work has been completed. The major milestones achieved are: the development of two modified alloys composition for Ti-48Al-2Cr-2Nb and the demonstration of the processability via laser AM of both René 80 and CM 247 LC Ni-superalloys.
The achievement of EBM trials with two modified alloys and with the reference base material are the major current results achieved in terms of materials development.
On the other hand, the limited defects introduced by laser process for the two poorly processable Ni – superalloys and the promising benefits achievable with HIP as post-processing are evident results. Both EBM and laser Powder Bed Fusion processes were optimized for all alloys studied. Post processing procedure is close to the final definition.
EBM process simulation has been developed. Preliminary investigations were also done on the processability of complex shapes with PB-AM.
NEWTEAM will develop three new materials oriented to the PB-AM technologies:
1) NEWTEAM will develop a modification in terms of chemical composition of the Ti-48Al-2Cr-2Nb alloy, tailored on the needs of the as-EBM microstructure features. Contemporary it will develop an optimization of post processing heat treatments in terms of HIP and HT in order to exploit the features of as-EBM microstructure and phase composition, thus boosting the mechanical properties of the alloy.
2) NEWTEAM will develop the LBM process parameters for two Ni-base superalloys with an high ’ content, thus increasing the portfolio of the Ni-base superalloys actually producible through LBM. In addition, the LBM potentiality will be exploited for the production of new complex designs of LPT blades for weight reduction such as hollow blades.
To follow the today aero-engine market needs, an exploitation of high performance materials is required. The introduction of advanced alloys capable to withstand higher operational temperature and/or capable to exhibit higher performances at a given temperature is an never-ending focus of the material research. Additionally, to couple the new materials with advanced manufacturing systems, such as PB-AM, will allow to produce complex geometry components and to reduce their overall buy-to-fly ratio. NEWTEAM, at the end of the project, will impact not only on LPT blades production but it will be also exploitable in rising the number of aero-engine components that can be optimized and produced by AM PBF in a convenient way. The introduction of more AM generated parts is of major importance, in the current aeronautical engines sector, in order to reduce the final aircraft weight and to improve the overall engine efficiency.
NEWTEAM project, as a part of the CS2 program, will impact positively on the EU aviation, giving a contribution both from an Economical and Societal point of view. Today supporting the European Union aviation means to support an important sector that creates economic growth and wealth, as well, and provides highly skilled jobs.