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TITANIUM IN AERO ENGINES, TRENDS

& DEVELOPMENTS

Dr Malcolm C Thomas
Titanium Symposium, November 2007

© 2007 Rolls-Royce plc


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purpose other than that for which it is supplied without the express written consent of Rolls-Royce plc.
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concerning such information, which must not be taken as establishing any contractual or other commitment binding upon Rolls-Royce plc or
any of its subsidiary or associated companies.
2

1. Manufacture

2. Defects & Cleanliness

3. Current Uses

4. Metallurgical Considerations. Crystal


Plasticity

5. Intermetallics
3

A GRAIN OF SAND
from the beach to Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce
Manufacture of titanium alloys
4

INTRODUCTION
z Titanium (Ti) is the 9th most abundant element, and is the 4th
most abundant metal out of the structurally useful metals.
z Extraction of metal from its ore is a lengthy and expensive
process.
z Only 5% of mined ore is converted to titanium sponge. The
remainder is used as pigment in paints.
z Titanium sponge is manufactured from ore using the Kroll process
developed by Dr William Kroll in 1940. This process is responsible
for 99% of current sponge production. Sponge is the primary
ingredient for titanium alloy production.
z The aerospace industry consumes 50% of the world’s annual
titanium alloy production of 25,000 tonnes. It is also used in the
petro-chemical and medical industries.
5
SPONGE MANUFACTURE
CONCENTRATED ORE Rutile ore obtained by dredging from beaches.
TiO2

Chlorination of ore in the presence of coke at


CHLORINATION
TiO2 (s) + 2Cl2 (g) + 2C (s) → TiCl4 (l) + 2CO (g)
900°C, followed by distillation of chloride to
remove impurities.

REDUCTION OF TiCl4 Using the Kroll process at 900°C


TiCl4 (l) + 2Mg (l) → Ti(s) + 2MgCl2 (s) (reduction with Mg)

CRUSHED TITANIUM Graded and sized


SPONGE
6

CONVENTIONAL INGOT MANUFACTURE

Raw materials for


Ti-6Al-4V
production:
1. Al/V master alloy,
2. sponge,
3. TiO2 ,
4. pure aluminium,
5. iron flake

Largest melters include:


TIMET (US, UK & France)
Allvac (US)
Kobe (Japan)
VSMPO (Russia)
7

TITANIUM CLEANLINESS
z Titanium is very susceptible to contamination during sponge
production and melting
z Heavy metals particularly with high melting points (eg, W, Mo) can,
and do, persist through multiple VAR melting (HDI)
z The reactivity of titanium means that exposure to air while still hot
can result in oxygen and nitrogen enriched defects (Type 1) which
can survive VAR melting (Sioux City crash)
z As a consequence, triple melt VAR was adopted by the industry as
a premium (rotor) grade requirement
z More recently cold hearth melting (CHM) has been developed (EB
or plasma)
- The longer residence time in CHM allows for the heavy metal
impurities to fall which are trapped in the hearth
- Type 1 defects have sufficient residence time to float and
dissolve
8
EB / PLASMA COLD HEARTH MELTING
The water-cooled
titanium scrap, Electron or plasma guns hearth contains weirs
sponge & alloys and dams to remove
impurities from the
molten metal as it
flows through the
hearth. The metal is
cast into retractable
moulds for
subsequent VAR
melting.

cooled hearth

cast
electrodes for
VAR
9

JET ENGINE TITANIUM QUALITY


COMMITTEE (JETQC)
z Formed under the direction of the FAA following the
Sioux City crash
z Consortium of all engine makers + FAA
z Receives defect data from all melters and producers
and monitors defect levels
z The engine companies also share data on defect finds
in rotor grade titanium
z Ground breaking co-operation in the interests of safety
z Since its inception in 1990 Type 1 (hard alpha)
incidences have fallen from 2 per Million Pounds of
ingot melted to less than 0.2 per Million Pounds
DEFECTS IN ROTOR GRADE TITANIUM 10

MATERIAL
Type I Defects High Density Inclusion Defects Premium Ti Production
3 45

40

2.5

35

2 30
No. Of Defects / million lbs

Production (million lbs)


25

1.5

20

1 15

10

0.5

0 0
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Year
11

SOURCES OF DEFECTS - Sponge man’f


Sponge Hard Alpha Sources Rankings
4

Pre 90
90 - 05
Average Ranking [0 to 4]

3 Current

0
Input Materials Red/Dist/Opening/Facilities Cake Removal/Shearing

Improvement driven by:


• the change to the VDP (Vacuum Distilled Process) Kroll process for the
manufacture of sponge – this gives a cleaner sponge with minimised
retention of Mg and MgCl2
SOURCES OF DEFECTS – Triple VAR 12

3XVAR Hard Alpha Sources Rankings


4
Pre 90
90 - 05

Average Ranking [0 to 4]
3 Current

0
Input Mat's Primary Melt Secondary Melt Tertiary Melt

Improvements driven by:


ƒCleaner sponge ƒImproved control of stub / electrode welding
ƒSingle piece electrodes ƒHousekeeping (drop ins etc.)
13

SOURCES OF DEFECTS - CHM + VAR


HM+VAR Hard Alpha Sources Rankings
4
Pre 90
90 - 05
Average Ranking [0 to 4]
3 Current

0
Input Mat's Hearth Melt Final Melt

Improvements driven by:


ƒImproved HM electrode quality (run downs)
ƒThe VAR benefits mentioned previously
14

TITANIUM USEAGE IN AERO ENGINES


z Primarily in the fan and compressor
z Rolls-Royce current engines are about 15%
Titanium (by weight and cost)
z As pressure ratios and hence temperatures in
engines increase, Titanium becomes limited by
oxidation / alpha case formation
z Significant new applications for Titanium in Aero
engines are unlikely, except as Aluminide
intermetallics, in MMCs or particulate reinforced.
z Progress is most likely to be made by a more
detailed understanding of processing /
microstructure / property relationships. This will
enable a life cycle cost reduction
15

TITANIUM USAGE IN MODERN TURBOFAN


Fan blade and disc fan case rear
IPC and HPC blades,
vanes and discs

Intercase

front bearing housing


16

T8104 Jan 97 - Apr 99


z The First Wide
Chord Swept Fan
17

WIDE CHORD FAN – A Rolls-Royce First


18
DB/SPF FAN CORE GEOMETRY
19

FAN BLADES – FUTURE TRENDS


z Hollow titanium
z Current choice for large engines
- Cost effective
- Excellent efficiency
- Superior bird strike capability

z Composite blades
z Being evaluated for future engines
z May replace solid titanium and hollow blades
z Cost of overall fan system will be the driver
z Hollow Titanium Blisks
z Combination of hollow fan blades and linear friction
welding
z Used for advanced military application
z Repair is key capability
20
Al Eq.
10

Ti 8-1-1
Ti 1100

Ti 6242

Ti 6-22-22
Ti 6-4
Ti 834

Ti 685

Ti 679
Ti 829

Ti 6-6-2

Ti 6-2-4-6
5

Ti 550

SP 700

Ti 10-2-3
5

B III
B CEZ

Ti 15-3-3-3
Ti -17

B 21S
10
15

BC
20
25
Mo Eq.
βt 104 101 101 102 995 105 950 100 955 975 985 940 910 900 890 770 800 840 760 675
5 5 5 5 0 0
Al 5.8 6 5.5 6 6 8 2.2 6 6 4 6 6 4.5 5 5 3 3 3 3
Sn 4 2.7 3.5 2 5
11 2 2 2 2 2 2 4.5 3
5
Zr 3.5 4 3 5 4 4 2 4 4 2 6 4
Nb 0.7 1 2.7

Mo 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.5 2 1 4 2 6 2 4 4 11. 15 4


5
V 1 4 6 3 10 15 8
Fe 2 1 2
Cr 2 2 4 3 6
Si 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.5 0.2 0.2
C 0.0 5 5 5 5 5
6
21

METALLURGY
z Alpha Titanium is hexagonal which limits available slip
systems and renders titanium more prone to texturing
z The microstructures can be complex and can vary widely
depending on processing and heat treatment
z Given that Titanium is temperature limited by its
reactivity, advances are most likely from a better
understanding of processing / properties / microstructure
z Radically new titanium alloys are unlikely
z The most promising areas are Ti-Al intermetallics and
better burn resistant alloys
z Near alpha titanium alloys exhibit a complex
phenomenon called cold dwell fatigue
22
Discs – Failures

GE CF6 HPC6-8 burst, Sao Paolo, June 2000.


23

BETA GRAINS

Alpha colony
24

Prior Beta Grain * Billet itself sets starting bulk chemistry, Grain Boundary
initial partitioning, macro/microstructure Morphology
Billet* preheat, and crystallography
temperature, time and Forge temperature,
ramp rate, transfer time strain and strain rate,
to press, strain and strain transfer time and
rate during forging, press media for post forge
time and hold periods cooling

Primary Alpha Laths


Transfer time and media
on post forge cooling,
Solution heat treatment
temperature and time
Secondary “Fine” Alpha
Retained Beta
Transfer time and media for post
Transfer time and media for post
solution heat treatment cooling,
solution heat treatment cooling,
Ageing temperature and time
Ageing temperature and time
σ 25
Slip transmission function of:
(i) Relative orientation of αΙ and β and β to αΙΙ
giving favourable or unfavourable alignment
ip
Sl of preferred slip systems.
(ii) Orientation angle, θ
(iii) Stress, either macro applied or local due to
αΙΙ crystal plasticity.
(iv) Length scale and slip planarity
β (v) Loading rate

αΙ θ (vi) Local chemistry, driven by alloy partitioning,


changing CRSS for individual slip systems

σ
26

ALPHA BETA PROCESSING


z Normally somewhere between 920 and 970 C
z Try to get 75% R in A after last beta heat
treatment
z Multiple working directions preferable
z Minimises crystallographic texture
z Maximises grain boundary alpha break up
z Fine equiaxed alpha grains often preferred in
final structure
z However, easy to be decieved by optical
microscopy
- CF6 cold dwell and fan blade properties
– Multiple alpha grain orientations required
27

COLD DWELL
z Significant research ongoing

z Associated with microstructural unit size and


local texturing

z A detailed understanding of local behaviour


under stress is required

z Cold dwell massively influences life and hence


life cycle cost
Dislocations within plastic zone near crack tip in the bar 28

Location of TEM sample


relative to crack tip

z The loading direction relative to the crystal structure of the deformed


grain is the [0110], the burgers vectors are of the type <a> [1120], [1120],
and <c+a> [1213]
29
FIB for micro-mechanical testing

FIB sample production from Ohio State University.


Materials research group; J Williams, H Fraser, M Mills.

Rolls-Royce data-strictly private


Probing Local Mechanical Propertie
30

in α−β Processed Ti-6242


XR Crack Tip 31
32

Ti 6246 Highest Temp Capability


z Trent 890 design targets
z Large IP compressor weight reduction
z Aggressive ‘right first time’ programme required

z Existing alloy identified for adoption


z Ti 6Al 2Sn 4Zr 6Mo
- Established melt route and chemistry specification
z Unique forging and heat treatment to meet property
requirements
- Beta forge plus alpha beta heat treat

z Timescales
z Targets identified and literature review 1993
z Alloy certified 1997
z 20Kg weight saving achieved for Trent 890B
33

Ti 6246 – APPLICATIONS & BENEFITS


Compressor Discs
• Intermediate pressure
• High pressure
• 9 different engine types
• 30+ disc stages

Engineering Benefit
High strength = improved over-speed.
Temperature capability = Ti 6-4 +150 ºC
Good crack growth and fracture toughness
34

Trent 800 IP drum Typical microstructure


35

Ti6246 – FUTURE TRENDS


z Ti 6246 application
z Has been applied in most logical applications,
- Including redesign and retrofit
z Will be the compressor disc alloy of choice for
most new applications.
z Metallurgical issues
z Detailed process / property relationships being
explored
- Very complex process property relationships
- Allow rapid evaluation of new suppliers and
manufacturing change
36
What are Titanium Aluminides?
z Intermetallic – ordered structure
of titanium and aluminium atoms
z Aluminium content typically 44-
48at%
z Chemistries of most interest give:
α2 (Ti3Al) + γ (TiAl) where gamma
γ, majority phase: around 90%
z Ternary additions added to
improve mechanical properties
and oxidation eg (Nb, Cr, Mn, Ta)
z Different mechanisms for grain
refinement - solidification path,
thermo-mechanical treatments or
chemical additions eg borides. Conventional Gamma titanium
titanium alloys aluminide alloys
Why Titanium Aluminides ?
37

z Attraction is low density giving


opportunity for weight reduction
z Typically 3.7-4.2 g/cc – approx. half that
of nickel and steel

z Good high temperature strength and


stiffness
z Compete with nickel alloys currently
working at 600-750degC

z Good creep, oxidation and burn


resistance
z Attractive as a compressor or turbine
blade / vane material
38

Titanium Aluminides : The Challenge


z Difficult to manufacture
z Casting / forging / joining technology
z Requires tight chemistry control

z Low ductility particularly at room


temperature
z Difficult to machine
z Risk of damage during handling and assembly
z Made worse by service exposure

z Rapid crack growth and low fracture


toughness
z Need to think differently in design
z Establish reliable crack growth thresholds
z Risk from foreign object damage

Source: J.J.Kruzic et al, Fatigue Crack Propagation In Gamma Based TiAl Alloys at Large and Small Cracks Sizes. in
High-Temperature Ordered Intermetallics VIII, MRS Sym.Proc., Boston, MA, U.S.A, 1999
39

CONCLUSIONS
z Current useage levels of titanium in aero engines are likely to
continue
z More demanding performance requirements will limit titanium
useage as temperature increases
z The titanium industry has improved its quality performance
and further dramatic changes are unlikely
z The use of alloys with capability beyond 6246 will depend on
new technical breakthrough
z The introduction of gamma titanium aluminide will permit the
use of Ti in new areas of the engine, eg, Turbines
z Better life cycle costs will only be achieved with a better
understanding of life limiting behaviour such as cold dwell