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CREATIVE DESIGN OF PATTERN FOR SAND CASTING OF TURBINE BLADE

A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF

Bachelor of Technolgy In Mechanical Engineering

By BENAKNAIK S G

Department of Mechanical Engineering National Institute of Technology, Rourkela 2009
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CREATIVE DESIGN OF PATTERN FOR SAND CASTING OF TURBINE BLADE
A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF

Bachelor of Technology In Mechanical Engineering By BENAKNAIK S G

Under the Guidance of PROF. S. K. SAHOO

Department of Mechanical Engineering National Institute of Technology, Rourkela 2009
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K. National Institute of Technology. Sahoo Date: Department of Mechanical Engg National Institute of Technology Rourkela-769008 3 . Rourkela .National Institute of Technology Rourkela CERTIFICATE This is to certify that the thesis entitled “ Creative design of pattern for sand casting of turbine blade” Submitted by Benaknaik S G. S. Roll No: 10503041 in the partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering. To the best of my knowledge the matter embodied in the thesis has not been submitted to any other university/institute for the award of any degree or diploma. Prof. is being carried out under my supervision.

for providing valuable departmental facilities. for their valuable guidance.K. Mechanical Engineering.ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We avail this opportunity to extend our hearty indebtedness to our guide Prof. Rourkela 4 . Submitted by: Benaknaik S G Roll No: 10503041 Mechanical Engineering National Institute of Technology. constant encouragement and kind help at different stages for the execution of this dissertation work. Sahoo .K.Sahoo. R. S. We also express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Mechanical Engineering Department. Head of the Department.

CONTENTS Page No ACKNOWLEDGEMENT CERTIFICATE ABSTRACT CHAPTER 1 .INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION HISTORICAL BACKGROUND PRESENT TREND Chapter 2 – EXPERIMENTAL METHODOLOGY DESIGN OF PATTERN EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE INVESTMENT CASTING CONCLUSION REFERENCE 3 4 6 7 8 9 11 14 16 21 21 5 .

but too short a holding time will cause distortion when removing it from the mould. the dimensions of the critical part features were varied in order to quantify how the critical part features relate to manufacturing defects.4% in dimension. 6 .2–0. The principal research objective of this thesis was to discover how the critical part features on the turbine blade drive the number of manufacturing defects seen in the casting process. For the silicone mould. only the injection temperature has an effect on the dimensions of the wax patterns. there is a reduction of 0. and mold-related defects. Aerospace companies have found that casting defects are an important cost driver in the price that they pay the foundries for the turbine blades. as it is too soft. A short holding time will yield a more accurate pattern. Defect types include porosity. In the experiment. aerospace companies have adopted a design for manufacture approach to drive the cost of the turbine blades down. stress. grain. Too long a holding time will cause more shrinkage. These studies will help the investment caster to estimate the allowance required in the initial CAD drawings to produce a final casting with minimal dimensional inaccuracy. In order to address the defect problem.ABSTRACT The manufacturing of turbine blades is often outsourced to investment casting foundries by aerospace companies that design and build jet engines. fill. The dimensional errors incurred during dipping are also measured and found that generally.

considerable effort has been directed toward the development of advanced alloys for stable operation under extreme conditions. Wind turbine (W/T) blades. [2]. a number of critical conditions must be satisfied in order to ensure adequate operation at working temperatures (Ref 1). encounter very complex loading sequences. Since the efficiency of turbine engines increases with temperature. The suitability of a particular W/T blade to operate on a specific site is assessed through a certification procedure which entails the conduction of a series of static and fatigue laboratory tests on the W/T blade. due to the stochastic nature of wind conditions on wind turbines sites. while in operation. The purpose of such tests is to ascertain that the blade can survive the applied (static and fatigue) loads as per the applicable design standards [1]. while the applied static loads aim to 7 .CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION BECAUSE turbine blades play a key role in the performance of BECAUSE turbine blades play a key role in the performance of BECAUSE turbine blades play a key role in the performance of advanced turbine engines. These conditions include high-temperature creep strength and thermal and mechanical fatigue strength.

Most turbine blades for the aerospace industry are now produced predominantly by directional solidification. etc.12]. The production of “defect-free” vacuum castings was the aim of the study. the task was to use these newly established principles to see if they could be applied to the design of new bottom-filled investment castings. Ear Early attempts were based on the use of single y-phase HISTORICAL BACKGROUND In the last few years. However. However. the principles of good design of filling systems have been defined by research at the University of Birmingham using mainly sand block moulds [11. However. the principle of good filling system 8 . in other industries using turbine power for ships or rail. the relative proportion of blades produced by equiaxed and directional solidification is approximately 50:50 at this time. Normally. avoiding the generation of defects such as porosity and inclusions.simulate the 1-in-50-years gust (and is applied on the blade for ten seconds during testing). followed by fatiguing the same blade for an accelerated 20-years fatigue lifetime test. The new designs work well. equiaxed blades are commonly used for ease of manufacture and cost effectiveness.

wind turbines can still be generally classified as either horizontal axis wind turbines ("HAWTs") or VAWTs. PRESENT TREND 9 . because each is susceptible to the creation of defects during the filling process. this increased interest is due to rising energy costs. While wind turbines have been in use for a very long time. In part.design is appropriate to both techniques. environmental concerns. only recently has there been a commercially significant interest by individuals for using wind turbines to generate power for their homes. and lower costs for wind turbines. many new designs of wind turbines have been created. As a result of this increased interest in wind power. Notwithstanding this innovation.

It was used to produce art castings until the early 20th century. 10 . there has to be a high degree of confidence in the shell itself.C. Due to the nature of the casting of the required alloys. If the pattern were solid. the traditional process needs to address four requirements to meet this challenge. or where machining would be too wasteful of material. Archaeological investigation can be traced back to 4000 B. The investment casting process or what used to be known as ‘‘lost wax process’’ is not a new process. By 1930. Fig. A SL QuickCast pattern differs from a normal SL pattern. investment casting ranked as a useful specialised casting method.Investment casting is a method of producing high quality casting. As mentioned by Beeley and Smart . Investment casting is especially prevalent in the production of turbine blades for both aerospace and land based turbines. It is especially useful for providing casting in geometry’s which could not be forged or machined. but was of little relevance to mainstream engineering. QuickCastTM combines the SLA prototyping technique with investment casting. This is because the cost incurred when the shell fails during casting can be unacceptable both in terms of furnace down time and lost materials. The attention is turned to investment casting to produce precision components . In this study the combination of stereolithography (SLA) process and QuickCast techniques are used for building the prototype pattern and investmentcasting shells. the ceramic shell would be cracked in the burning-out process due to large differences in the thermal expansion coefficients between ceramic and SL materials. These are built in a honeycomb-like fashion with a strong external skin to reproduce the required shape. The start of World War 2 changed this situation as the demand for finished components for aircraft and armaments increased and cannot be met by the machine tools industry. 1 shows the schematic diagram of how CAD system integrates with SL process to form a QuickCastTM in an investment casting process.

and gating system (alloy.mould system (type. Investment casting is classified as a precision casting process. The latter can only be accomplished by using a metal prototype. injection parameters). mould filling method). The logical place to start improving the accuracy is the wax system since various defects such as wax pattern composition. Other RPM techniques like SLA can only be used to determine the form and fit but not the functionality of the prototypes. which can be produced using investment casting. production of castings in high melting point alloys. in order to improve the overall accuracy of the casting. wax preparation. Therefore. pouring temperature. wrapping. CHAPTER. backing material). high standard of metallurgical quality and cost savings over parts produced by alternative manufacturing techniques.2 11 . wax temperature and die design affect the wax pattern . injection characteristics. placement of gates and risers. Therefore the ability to control and improve the accuracy getting more attention as the need for more accurate metal prototype rises. material. positioning of casting on sprue. As the industries grow. it is essential to improve the accuracy of the individual stages. mould filling and temperature. sprue size. the demand for functional metal working prototypes increases. wax press. It lends itself well to rapid prototyping and manufacturing because of its abilities to produce an accurate and complex casting. dewax method. The areas which affects the dimensional accuracy are wax system (pattern wax.These essential requirements are reproducibility of castings within close dimensional limits.

Therefore the ability to 12 . since it satisfies most of the criterion discussed earlier. which can distort the shape easily. 1 is selected. The latter can only be accomplished by using a metal prototype. It lends itself well to rapid prototyping and manufacturing because of its abilities to produce an accurate and complex casting. Design of pattern In order to design the specific shape of the product for this study several issues were considered. the demand for functional metal working prototypes increases. Some of the key issues considered for the design of shape of the product are as follows: (a) complexity of the shape for the easy removal of the wax pattern from the mould. which can be produced using investment casting. (b) complexity of features. In this present work attempts have been made to optimise the injection parameters to achieve better dimensional accuracy of the product. As the industries grow. In addition the dimensional accuracy of the wax patterns made from a hard and soft tooling are compared.EXPERIMENTAL METHODOLOGY One of the primary objectives of this work is to minimize the dimensional inaccuracies in producing the wax patterns by using either hard or soft tooling. Investment casting is classified as a precision casting process. (c) should have both constrained and unconstrained dimensions so that the variation between soft and hard tooling can be compared. Other RPM techniques like SLA can only be used to determine the form and fit but not the functionality of the prototypes. By considering all these issues an shape as shown in Fig.

control and improve the accuracy getting more attention as the need for more accurate metal prototype rises. sprue size. dewax method. wrapping. wax temperature and die design affect the wax pattern. and gating system (alloy. injection characteristics. it is essential to improve the accuracy of the individual stages. injection parameters). positioning of casting on sprue. in order to improve the overall accuracy of the casting. wax preparation. wax press. mould filling and temperature. placement of gates and risers. mould system (type. material. The areas which affects the dimensional accuracy are wax system (pattern wax. mould filling method). Therefore. backing material). The logical place to start improving the accuracy is the wax system since various defects such as wax pattern composition. 13 . pouring temperature.

FIG. 1 14 .

Production steps in investment casting are illustrated in the figure: Advantages: Arbitrary complexity of castings Good dimensional accuracy Good surface finish No or little additional machining (net. or near-net process) Wax can be reused 15 .Fig.2 Side view Fig. which melts after making the mold to produce the mold cavity. the pattern is made of wax.3 Top view EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE Investment casting In investment casting.

complex parts such as art pieces. etc. jewelry. dental fixtures from all types of metals.Disadvantages: Very expensive process Requires skilled labor Area of application: Small in size. pinion gears. Used to produce machine elements such as gas turbine blades. 16 . which do not require or require only little subsequent machining.

Flexibility exists in changing the composition of each layer. leaving a hollow shell. Shells are fired and 17 . normally steam autoclave. 4 Thus. Different methods can be used to remove the wax pattern. an investment casting mould consists of individual layers of fine refractory material and granular refractory material held together by a binder that has been set to a rigid gel.Fig.

After casting. The term investment casting derives from the characteristic use of mobile ceramic slurry. the ceramic shell is removed through mechanical or chemical methods to obtain the parts. since waste material is kept to a minimum . The investment casting process has increasingly been used to produce components for the aerospace industry and it has been particularly successful for the production of single crystal turbine blades. when Early Man employed the method to produce rudimentary tools. The investment casting process involves the production ofengineering castings using an expendable pattern . 18 .filled with molten metal that solidifies inside the shell. The principles can be traced back to 5000 BC . Production of the investment casting ceramic shell mould is a crucial part of the whole process. or ‘investments’. Problems associated with ceramic shell materials have been exacerbated following the introduction of the Environmental Protection Act. First. This was followed by centuries of use OF jewellery and artistic products before the advent of the 2nd World War saw the development of aerospace and subsequently engineering components. The basic steps in the production of an investment cast component using a ceramic shell mould are shown in . multicomponent slurries are prepared composed of a fine meshrefractory filler system and a colloidal binder system. to form a mould with an extremely smooth surface. A pattern wax is then dipped into the slurry. These are replicated from precise patterns and transmitted in turn to the casting. Investment casting allows dimensionally accurate components to be produced and is a cheaper alternative than forging or machining. sprinkled with coarse refractory stucco and dried.

5 CONCLUSIONS 19 .FIG.

[[ WEBSITES [1] http://en.wikipedia. currently taking between 24 and 72 h depending upon the component. REFERENCES BOOKS 1. due to the need to use controlled moisture removal. reduces manufacturing costs and explores new markets in order to remain competitive.It is becoming imperative that the investment casting industry improves current casting quality. Production of the mould is time consuming. “Elements of workshop technology”. S K Hajra Choudhury. Optimisation of the mechanical and physical properties of the material cast will be fundamental to achieving these aims.scopus.com [3] http:// www. Drying and strength development are the most significant rate-limiting factors in the reduction of lead times and production costs for the industry. 2.com [: [[R RE 20 . S K Bose. “Production technology”. A K Hajra choudhury.org/wiki/turbine [2] http:// sciencedirect. Vol‐II. Media promoters and media publications. HMT publication. Niranjan Roy.

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