Dimensional improvement of industrial gas turbine blades through enhanced process control

Hudson, Dominic James (2015). Dimensional improvement of industrial gas turbine blades through enhanced process control. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The efficiency of a gas turbine engine is determined, in part, by the dimensional conformity of the turbine blades to the nominal design dimensions. Doncasters Precision Castings in Droitwich UK (DPCD) is involved in the development of next generation designs and as feature complexity increases, so does the dimensional variation of the part. The particle size distribution (P.S.D) of the zircon flour used to make investment slurries was found to significantly impact process capability. P.S.D influenced the rheological properties of slurry, shell build, sintering mechanisms and as a result the annulus length of solid equiaxed tip-shrouded turbine blades. The supplier of zircon flour to DPCD was not capable of controlling the P.S.D during the milling process so a blending technique was developed to reduce the variation of the incoming raw material. Implementation of enhanced process control methods significantly improved the DPCD process. Capabilities of the key process measures; plate weight, viscosity flow time, slurry stability and fired flexural strength were increased. As well as reducing dimensional variation, shell related scrap levels were also improved as a consequence of producing a more consistent ceramic mould system.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Metallurgy and Materials
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Royal Commission For The Exhibition Of 1851
Subjects: T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6371


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