Computationally Guided ODS Refractory HEAs via Additive Manufacturing
Project Innovation + Advantages:
Raytheon Technologies Research Center (RTRC) aims to design and validate the manufacturability and mechanical properties of a new hot section turbine alloy. To achieve higher efficiency turbine operation, RTRC will use additive manufacturing (AM) to produce test coupons (specimens) and potentially a representative turbine blade using a high entropy alloy (HEA) enhanced with oxide dispersion strengthening (ODS) particles. Combining HEAs with ODS imparts high-temperature strength and creep (deformation) resistance to enable 1300°C operation that significantly exceeds the capability of current single crystal nickel superalloys. Leveraging AM produces a blade very close to the final shape, reducing the need for machining, and incorporates ODS into the alloy. The program will employ a machine learning framework and screening experiments to explore HEA composition space and identify the best candidates. Powders will be produced for these candidates and then modified with nano-oxides to create an ODS feedstock for AM. Deploying this class of alloys for 1300°C turbine operation will allow airlines to save millions of gallons of fuel per year.
Combining development of new ultrahigh temperature materials with compatible coatings and manufacturing technologies has the potential to increase gas turbine efficiency up to 7%, which will significantly reduce wasted energy and carbon emissions.