News Listing

March 2009

IGTI Manufacturing, Materials and Metallurgy Committee Tutorial Session 14-8

Material Processing Technology, LLC

Investment Casting Technology for Gas Turbine Airfoil Applications

June 10th 2:30-5:30 pm


High temperature superalloy blades and vanes have been called the “Crown Jewels” of the gas turbine engine. Great strides have been made in airfoil investment casting technology since cast airfoils were first introduced in gas turbine engines in the 1940’s. The Neuchâtel 4000 kW power station, the first commercial power generation GT featured a turbine inlet temperature (TIT) of 1015 F (545 C) and achieved a thermal efficiency of 17.4% using uncooled, heat resisting steel turbine blades. Today turbine inlet temperatures are in the range of 2700 F (~1500 C) for the G & H class utility combustion turbines with thermal efficiency on the order of 60% for combined cycle applications. Perhaps even more dramatic is the 3600 F (~2000 C) TIT for the Joint Strike fighter turbine engine. These remarkable increases in the gas turbine firing temperature and thermal efficiency have been made possible in part by dramatic advances in hot section airfoil materials and manufacturing technology during the past seventy years.


This session will provide an overview of the superalloy investment casting process and challenges as it relates to manufacture of complex aero-engine & large IGT hot section airfoils. The focus will be to walk through the many steps involved in investment casting manufacture, covering unit operations from wax pattern & ceramic core production, shell build, equiaxed, DS or single crystal vacuum casting and post cast operations. This will include discussion of advances in cooling configurations, casting imperfections, inspection methods and general acceptance criteria as it relates to equiaxed, directionally solidified columnar grained and single crystal castings. Throughout the session some of specific challenges related to making large F G & H-class components and sophisticated air cooled, multiwall single crystal aero-engine airfoils will be noted.

Material Processing Technology, LLC
1965 Forest Park Road; Norton Shores, MI 49441
Phone 231-780-1265; e-mail

Copyright 2009