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Gas Service Solutions

Cleaning and brazing

Reconditioning of gas turbine components

Surface preparation is
essential. Alstom has
optimised an integrated
cleaning method
incorporating the Fluoride
Ion Cleaning (FIC) process
when brazing is required.

Diffusion brazing for high-strength


repairs
Extreme thermal, mechanical and chemical demands are made on the Hot Gas Path
(HGP) components of modern gas turbines. This causes them to deteriorate over
time and makes their periodical reconditioning or replacement necessary. Thanks to
Alstoms brazing technologies combined with its advanced thermo-chemical cleaning
techniques, many parts that would otherwise be replaced can now be reconditioned. In
an efficient and cost effective process, the mechanical integrity and design intent can
be restored.
High-temperature brazing is in some cases preferred rather than standard welding.
The advantage is a uniform heat input, avoiding potential strains and distortions that
can occur in welded zones due to the local heat input.
With Alstoms Cleaning and Brazing process, a large number of ex-service components
with numerous cracks can be repaired at once in a single cycle. Furthermore, areas
that have been eroded, oxidised or corroded can be rebuilt to restore original part
dimensions using braze tape and presintered sheets.
To ensure high-quality braze repairs, Alstom precisely matches the cleaning process,
heat treatment cycles and braze alloy composition to the parent base metal.
Compatibility with post repair heat treatment for coating and additional braze
applications is also ensured.

Customer benefits

Precise control of the heat treatment results in isothermal solidification during


diffusion brazing. It guarantees the formation of the best microstructure with optimum
mechanical properties.

Reduce scrap

Our integrated cleaning and


brazing approach broadens the
scope of viable repairs.

Mechanical integrity

The mechanical integrity of


brazed parts is restored.
PWER/LEAF/CLGBRZ11/eng/GAS/06.13/CH/7508

Speed and quality

FIC cleaning and brazing is


incorporated in one workcell for
flexible and high-quality repairs.

Confidence

The entire Alstom reconditioning


process is DIN ISO 9001/14001
certified to ensure best EHS and
business practices.

Alstoms Reconditioning Process

Quality
Assess

Strip/Clean

Repair

ALSTOM 2013. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is indicative only. No representation or warranty is given or should be relied on that it
is complete or correct or will apply to any particular project. This will depend on the technical and commercial circumstances. It is provided without liability and is
subject to change without notice. Reproduction, use or disclosure to third parties, without express written authority, is strictly prohibited.
Alstom contributes to the protection of the environment. This leaflet is printed on environmentally-friendly paper.

Coating

A versatile cleaning and brazing process


Before we repair, we prepare
1. Chemical Stripping
Alstoms proprietary thermo-chemical stripping procedure
effectively removes consumed coatings without damaging the
structural material, uncoated areas or pre-existing brazed joints.

The process parameters are individually tailored: component

design and base material are taken into account while an


improved masking technique is employed to protect uncoated
and sensitive areas, such as brazed joints, from attack. This
ensures the overall mechanical integrity of the component.

2. Salt Bath Cleaning


During service, uncoated hot gas path component surfaces tend
to become covered with a layer of complex metal oxides.
Salt bath cleaning removes the outer oxide scale and much of
the oxides in the cracks, preparing the component for Alstoms
dynamic, sub-atmospheric FIC process.

Quality checks confirm that no coating


residues remain and that there is no
reduction in wall thickness.

If the component is intended to be repaired


by crack brazing, then salt bath cleaning
followed by Fluoride Ion Cleaning (FIC) will
be necessary to remove all remaining oxides
from crack surfaces.

Before: The heavily oxidised and


depleted surface of an ex-service
cobalt-based component.

After: The outer oxide scale and a


considerable proportion of the oxides
in the crack have been removed by salt
bath cleaning.

GT11N2 blades condition


after stripping

Repair sequence for the reconditioning of hot gas path components


Consumed, degraded coating
Oxidised crack
Eroded, oxidised surface

Ex-service condition
Chemical stripping
of consumed coating
Salt bath- /
FIC-cleaning
Crack braze repair
Braze paste

Presintered braze sheet

Protective coating

Braze sheet/
putty application
Coating application

Gas Service Solutions


Cleaning and Brazing

3. Dynamic Sub-Atmospheric Fluoride Ion Cleaning (FIC)


Going where no other process goes: High-strength super-alloys contain significant
amounts of Al, Cr and Ti. The thermodynamically stable and protective oxides that are
formed on their surfaces can only be removed effectively by an advanced high-precision
cleaning technique.
Alstoms FIC process removes all scale, oxides and other contaminants without
residues, even from the tips of the deepest and finest thermal fatigue cracks. This is
essential; otherwise these oxides would prevent the brazing material from penetrating
fully into the cracks and bonding effectively with the base metal.
Alstom uses high-purity, fluoride gas together with the purest hydrogen to ensure the
best results. The process parameters and the cleaning cycle are adapted to the alloy in
question and the degree of damage sustained.
4. Braze Preparation
Alstom uses patented braze alloy mixtures that are developed in-house to ensure
the closest match to the base metal composition and guarantee compatibility with
any coatings that may be employed. Furthermore, we adapt the braze composition
according to the crack size. Also, we offer braze tape and pre-sintered sheets for repairs
of larger regions where wall thicknesses require restoration.

FIC cleaning chamber

Brazing processes offered:

Crack brazing
Restoration of component dimensions by:

- Sheet brazing for flat or curved surfaces


- Putty and tape brazing for wide gaps
Component braze joining applications e.g. insert brazing and honey comb brazing
Single Crystal (SX) brazing by:
- Epitaxial growth from an existing grain

The braze preparation is a manual process carried out by Alstoms highly skilled and
experienced specialists using advanced tools. For example: beads of braze paste are
applied using precision pneumatic syringes.

Manual application of braze paste as


preparation for brazing

5. High-Temperature Diffusion Brazing


Alstom uses an ultra-clean, high-temperature vacuum furnace for braze repairs. Precise
control of the process parameters ensures the formation of the required microstructure
with a highly controlled diffusion zone between base material and braze material that
leads to repairs with the best mechanical properties.
In the case of component where the thickness of the material needs to be restored,
precise control of the diffusion parameters supports thickness consolidation with low
porosity for a perfect interface and high mechanical integrity.
The braze alloy completely fills the crack thanks
to the removal of oxide scale and surface
contamination by the FIC process.

Gas Service Solutions


Cleaning and Brazing

Alstoms braze repair concept


Single Crystal (SX) Brazing

SX materials are widely used in the manufacturing of todays advanced blades and
vanes, demanding a new set of advanced braze repair techniques. Alstom offers
epitaxial single crystal brazing a highly customised process that we have developed
and patented to further extend our refurbishment and restoration portfolio.
Comparison of a wide gap braze repair with and without SX
technology

Alstoms Integrated
Cleaning and Brazing
Key advantages are:
An integrated cleaning and brazing
repair process that ensures optimal
results with respect to the integrity
of the component in a efficient and
economical way.

Our FIC-process ensures cleaning of


brazed joint

cracks to the very tip with minimal


degradation of base material.

Customised processes for single crystal


(SX), directionally solidified (DS) and
conventional cast (CC) components.

Alstom continuously invests into the

PWER/LEAF/CLGBRZ11/eng/GAS/06.13/CH/7508

Without SX technology: The repair has an equiaxed


structure mechanical properties are limited.

With SX technology: Repair has a single crystal


microstructure excellent mechanical properties.

research and development of brazing


technology to further push the limits in
order to further reduce scrap rates, lead
times and costs.

To find out more about reconditioning of


gas turbine components, please contact
your local Alstom representative.
ALSTOM (Switzerland) Ltd.
Brown Boveri Strasse 7
5401 Baden
Switzerland
Visit us online: www.alstom.com

ALSTOM 2013. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is indicative only. No representation or warranty is given or should be relied on that it
is complete or correct or will apply to any particular project. This will depend on the technical and commercial circumstances. It is provided without liability and is
subject to change without notice. Reproduction, use or disclosure to third parties, without express written authority, is strictly prohibited.
Alstom contributes to the protection of the environment. This leaflet is printed on environmentally-friendly paper.