The proposal consisted of developing an alternative solution to the existing LPT blade on the Geared Turbo Fan made of cast nickel based alloy by transcending the work fundamentally performed on the TNM Gamma TiAl alloy.
This proposal was beyond the state of the art and was based on innovative isothermal forging process, advanced tooling devices, specific heat treatments and an optimized near net shape geometry.
Bringing together these conditions was mandatory to meet the engine manufacturer requirements in terms of microstructure and associated mechanical properties but also to target the cost challenge in the scope of a mass production activity.
Following RTD and Demonstration activities were to be performed through the project :
- development of isothermal forging process parameters;
- development of innovative toolings for the isothermal forging process;
- development of optimized billet and blade designs for the isothermal forging process;
- test hardware manufacturing.
The technology applied today on the LPT section of engines were Ni-based castings. Outside Europe, the technology applied today for γ-TiAl manufacturing was casting with an alloy having lower mechanical properties compared with the TNM material. The development of the γ-TiAl forging technology will bring more benefit. It will contribute to the elevation of the European competitiveness with regard to today’s challenges of the aerospace market such as fuel burn, noise reduction, improved maintenance costs and global reliability.
The application of a forged blade in TiAl on the LPT section of the Geared Turbo Fan will customize the yield of the engine and then the fuel efficiency and the environmental performance of it. This application will open new markets for FdB because the forged blade will replace existing castings. It will support MTU into the introduction of the GTF on the various aircraft markets such as Large Single Aisle Re-Engining for commercial airplanes and business jets like MRJ and BA C-Series.
The introduction on the market was planned between mid-2013 and end 2015 for these engines. With the growing demand for Large Single Aisle aircraft (representing more than 70% of the Single Air Segment) and additional environmental challenges, it was FdB’s strategy to join MTU in the promotion of its GTF on the market. A further step was the GTF’s contribution under MTU’s Clean Air Engine program to the compliance with the ACARE targets meaning more safety, more quality and affordability and an improved air transport efficiency.