Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Manufacturing, Materials, and Metallurgy

Characterization of Laser Additive Manufacturing-Fabricated Porous Superalloys for Turbine Components

[+] Author and Article Information
Brandon Ealy

Center for Advanced Turbomachinery
and Energy Research,
University of Central Florida,
Orlando, FL 32816
e-mail: brandonealy@knights.ucf.edu

Luisana Calderon

Center for Advanced Turbomachinery
and Energy Research,
University of Central Florida,
Orlando, FL 32816
e-mail: luisana@knights.ucf.edu

Wenping Wang

Center for Advanced Turbomachinery
and Energy Research,
University of Central Florida,
Orlando, FL 32816
e-mail: Wenping.wang@ucf.edu

Ranier Valentin

CDI Corporation,
Orlando, FL 32826
e-mail: Ranier_v@yahoo.com

Ilya Mingareev

Townes Laser Institute,
University of Central Florida,
Orlando, FL 32816
e-mail: Ilya.mingareev@ucf.edu

Martin Richardson

Townes Laser Institute,
University of Central Florida,
Orlando, FL 32816
e-mail: mcr@creol.ucf.edu

Jay Kapat

Director of Center for Advanced
Turbomachinery and Energy Research,
University of Central Florida,
Orlando, FL 32816
e-mail: Jayanta.Kapat@ucf.edu

Contributed by the Manufacturing Materials and Metallurgy Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 21, 2016; final manuscript received November 26, 2016; published online May 9, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 139(10), 102102 (May 09, 2017) (7 pages) Paper No: GTP-16-1356; doi: 10.1115/1.4035560 History: Received July 21, 2016; Revised November 26, 2016

The limits of gas turbine technology are heavily influenced by materials and manufacturing capabilities. Lately, incremental performance gains responsible for increasing the allowable turbine inlet temperature (TIT) have been made mainly through innovations in cooling technology, specifically convective cooling schemes. Laser additive manufacturing (LAM) is a promising manufacturing technology that uses lasers to selectively melt powders of metal in a layer-by-layer process to directly manufacture components, paving the way to manufacture designs that are not possible with conventional casting methods. This study investigates manufacturing qualities seen in LAM methods and its ability to successfully produce complex features found in turbine blades. A leading edge segment of a turbine blade, containing both internal and external cooling features, along with an engineered-porous structure is fabricated by laser additive manufacturing of superalloy powders. Through a nondestructive approach, the presented geometry is analyzed against the departure of the design by utilizing X-ray computed tomography (CT). Variance distribution between the design and manufactured leading edge segment are carried out for both internal impingement and external transpiration hole diameters. Flow testing is performed in order to characterize the uniformity of porous regions and flow characteristics across the entire article for various pressure ratios (PR). Discharge coefficients of internal impingement arrays and engineered-porous structures are quantified. The analysis yields quantitative data on the build quality of the LAM process, providing insight as to whether or not it is a viable option for direct manufacture of microfeatures in current turbine blade production.

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Fig. 1

(a) Test article with dimensions, (b) cut plane showing internal features*, (c) internal lattice structure (shown as dark shaded surfaces exposed to fluid)

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Fig. 2

Preliminary print of inconel test article with inverted build orientation

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Fig. 3

Plenum assembly with fixture for CD measurements of engineered-porous cavities

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Fig. 4

X-ray CT volume reconstruction with image resolution 200 μm (a) and 100 μm (b)

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Fig. 5

Isolated discontinuities (a, b) and anomalies (c, d, and e) observed in 225 kV CT scan

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Fig. 6

Relevant linear indication along a single build layer: top down view and view normal to arrows

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Fig. 7

Variance distribution along external surface (a) and internal impingement array (b)

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Fig. 8

Variance distribution along inside surface of leading edge

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Fig. 9

θ-dependence of part variance (a), comparison of actual and designed part edges (b), and concentricity(c)

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Fig. 10

Relative surface deviation of entire leading edge segment

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Fig. 11

Absolute variance trend for entire part surface

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Fig. 12

Discharge behavior of test article

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Fig. 13

Flow behavior across entire test coupon for multiple PR



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