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International Journal of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Abstract

Blade/vane components used in aerospace turbines are of twisted aerofoil shape, made by the process of investment casting, using Ni based super-alloy materials. These castings operate at turbine inlet temperatures (TET) close to the melting point of the alloy, in order to maximize thermal efficiency and thrust of the engine. The castings are made hollow, with intricate features such as turbulator, pin-fin, etc built-in to maximize the effect of heat transfer during forced cooling through internal passages. The hollow geometry in the castings is produced during the investment casting process by using a suitable ceramic core made from Silica or Alumina based mixes. These ceramic cores are high pressure injected by forcing the ceramic mix into dedicated molds or dies. Development of such dies is an involved process by itself, addressing issues right from ceramic mix behavior to manufacturability of the injection mould. The present paper attempts to highlight issues related to tooling development for ceramic cores used in investment cast turbine blade/vane components.

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