Development of Novel Lightweight High-Temperature Materials
Sheng Guo. From: Chalmers University of Technology, to: Dalian University of Technology, China.
Reducing the density for high-temperature alloys, or superalloys, is of critical importance for the aerospace and marine industry, as lighter superalloys can greatly improve the fuel efficiency. The search for lightweight superalloys has however been restricted by the existing physical metallurgy strategies based on one or two principal elements. Additionally, the latest generations of superalloys incorporate expensive alloying metals to improve the strength. Lowering the cost of superalloys is another challenge. Addressing these two longstanding challenging issues, this project aims to develop low-density and cost-effective superalloys based on the ground-breaking alloying strategy, i.e., the concept of high-entropy alloys, or multi-principal-element alloys. The successful implementation of the proposed research will lead to the development of novel lighter and cheaper superalloys, with a huge application potential in aerospace and marine industries in Sweden.
This project aims to develop novel lightweight high-temperature materials, which has a significant impact in improving the fuel efficiency for the aerospace and marine industry, through joint research collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and Dalian University of Technology in China. The content of the proposal relates to at least two research and innovation intensive areas prioritized by Region Västra Götaland and funded through the MoRE programme: Materials Science and Energy, and also relates to Sustainable Transport Solutions, Marine Environment and the Marine Sector and Sustainable Production. The project will help the applicant from Chalmers to establish himself as a leader in his research field, to strengthen the research competiveness on high temperature materials at Chalmers, and also to establish international alliances between Region Västra Götaland and key partners in China.
Summary of Project Results
The reduction of density for superalloys is of significant importance for the aerospace industry. As superalloys are typically used in turbine blades of aircraft engines, low-density superalloys not only enable a lighter engine and therefore less noise, fuel burn and emissions on take-off for aero-engines, but also reduce the centrifugal forces and stresses experienced by rotating components, allowing faster core speeds. Mass densities of turbine blades also exert a significant effect on the overall weight of aircraft. For a given aircraft, a reduction in the density of turbine blades enables design reductions in the weight of other parts throughout the turbine rotor, including the disk, hub, and shaft, as well as supporting structures in the engine. The resulting total reduction in weight can be 8 to 10 times that of the reduction in weight of the turbine blades. Apart from the aerospace industry, the newly developed HEAs have the potential to be used in marine vessels, automotive vehicles, trains or other engineering fields where the requirements for high-temperature mechanical properties are critical.