The Advanced Materials and Processing Laboratory (AMPLab) based in the interdisciplinary research centre (IRC) within the School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham, UK, along with MTC, Coventry, UK and CEIT, San Sebastian, Spain, are embarking on a two year research project with end-user partner Industria de Turbopropulsores (ITP), Spain, to develop a Powder Metallurgy route to manufacture static aero engine components such an engine casing made from nickel-base superalloy Inconel 718.
Dr Raja Khan at AMPLab states that using the traditional casting/forging route results in a very poor material usage i.e. buy-to-fly ratios, which typically range from 3 up to 10. Current technology is thus inefficient and results in high costs together with a large environmental footprint.
The development and validation of a Powder Metallurgy based manufacturing route offers a clear potential in this, so the aim of this project is to develop and validate a cost-effective net shape hot isostatic pressing (NSHIP) manufacturing route for IN718 parts.
The project will establish the HIP processing window for IN718 powder and explore newly developed, low-cost canning manufacturing methods. Following the optimisation of HIP parameters components will be produced and assessed to see if they meet the end-user requirements in terms of accuracy, integrity and mechanical properties.