SFB ⁄ Transregio 103 » From atom to turbine blade - Scientific foundations for a new generation of monocrystalline superalloys (Start: 2012)


Single-crystal nickel-based superalloys are the key materials in the production of turbine blades used in modern gas turbines for the aviation and energy supply industries. As such, they are indispensable and ensure both the mobility of our modern society and its sustainable electricity supply, regardless of whether the latter uses fossil fuels or solar thermal energy as its source. Higher efficiency at higher sustainability in gas turbines can be achieved only through a new single crystal technology drawing on four areas of expertise:
  • The understanding of all of the materials science aspects of alloy development, in particular the effect of microstructure inhomogeneities in the cast structure (on a microstructural scale) and the d-shell alloy elements (on the atomic scale) on thermodynamic equilibria, the kinetics of microstructural evolution and the kinetics of recovery processes in high temperature deformation.
  • The consistent improvement and renewal of technological processes for the production of specific nanostructures and microstructures with improved homogeneity and optimized properties.
  • The provision of more precisely-tailored material characteristics by access to new mechanical test methods (miniaturized creep and fatigue samples, nanometrology) and microstructural methods of examination (high resolution, aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy, tomographic atom probe).
  • Multiscale modelling which comprehensively describes material behaviour on the atomistic (ab initio methods, molecular dynamics), through the mesoscopic (discrete dislocation modelling, thermodynamic and kinetic modelling of the microstructure) and the macroscopic level (physically justifiable constitutive equations). This will help to improve both processing and the understandindg of high temperature deformation.
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