Strategic Partnership in Structural Metallic Systems for Gas Turbines

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Materials Science & Metallurgy

Abstract

The UK aerospace industry is the largest in Europe and, worldwide, second only to the US. The aerospace sector directly
supports more than 3,000 companies and provides 230,000 jobs in the UK. Importantly, most of this employment falls
outside the south-east and the average wage is above the national average. In the UK, the manufacture of gas turbine
engines represents 32% of the aerospace business and is dominated by Rolls-Royce, with 114,000 jobs supported by
Rolls-Royce and its supply chain.

This research programme brings together the universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, Imperial College, Manchester,
Oxford, Sheffield and Swansea, to perform the fundamental research required to realise new materials technologies that
will provide step-changes in the efficiency of gas turbines. This will help secure the commercial competitiveness of much of
the UK aerospace industry whilst simultaneously serving to reduce UK CO2 emissions, thereby satisfying international
legislation and decreasing the likelihood of irreversible climate change.

The research will focus on the development of the new, high performance steels, nickel, cobalt, titanium and niobium-based
alloys required for the most demanding applications with gas turbine engines. It will also seek to obtain the
fundamental understanding of the performance and degradation of these materials needed to ensure that they may be
used safely, without compromising engine performance. It will also include additional activities investigating key enabling
technologies, such as advanced joining methods and materials for turbine blade seals.

These materials technologies will be developed in close collaboration with the industrial partners to ensure that they are
matched to industrial need and that a route for commercial exploitation is available.

Planned Impact

This programme seeks to develop the innovative materials technologies and supply the trained staff required to maintain
commercial competitiveness of the UK's gas turbine industry. The beneficiaries will be:

UK industry
* This programme involves the universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, Imperial College, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield
and Swansea, bringing together their expertise to develop the new materials required for the future health of the UK gas
turbine industry.
* The research staff and related postgraduate students will provide the next generation of trained metallurgical scientists
and engineers required to meet the recruitment needs of UK industry.

UK society
* The Strategic Partnership will develop the materials technologies required to maintain the commercial competitiveness of
the UK's largest aerospace company and thereby secure the UK jobs in this vibrant manufacturing sector. Rolls-Royce and
its supply chain support 114,000 UK jobs and the whole UK gas turbine industry supports some half a million UK jobs.
* The development of gas turbines with increased efficiency will help the UK cope with dwindling natural resources, meet
its commitments to EU emissions targets and limit potential damage through dangerous climate change. The potential
impact is considerable as around 7% of the UK's CO2 emissions are associated with gas turbines in international aviation,
while approximately 16% of the UK's CO2 emissions are associated with power generation using gas turbines of various
descriptions.

UK public
* A broad multimedia portfolio of professionally delivered public engagement activities will ensure effective dissemination
to million-scale audiences across the UK. This will include podcasts, local, regional and national radio contributions, live
interactive events for the general public, web articles and outreach activities for schools. By virtue of our multimedia
approach, these initiatives will also access audiences traditionally judged hard-to-reach and younger demographics
representing the researchers of tomorrow.
* Increased awareness of the excitement and importance of physical metallurgy as a scientific discipline will inspire the
next generation of metallurgists and engineers.

UK policy makers
* The benefits of carefully managed academic research in underpinning the future prosperity of UK manufacturing will be
communicated to UK policy makers.
* The partners will support RCUK efforts to fund industry/academia collaborations through press releases, articles and
case studies highlighting the impact achieved through this programme.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description New alloys have been developed that potentially allow the creation of new, more efficient gas turbine engines for civil aviation.
Exploitation Route The alloys are now being commercially produced and assessed for use.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Transport

 
Description The objectives of the Strategic Partnership in Structural Metallic Systems for Gas Turbines remain: 1. To undertake the fundamental materials research necessary to improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of gas turbine engines. 2. To train the next generation of world-class materials scientists and metallurgical engineers in structural metallic systems that will be critical to the future health of the discipline in UK academia and industry. These objectives are being met through collaborative research and training activities run between academia and industry. This fully utilises the capabilities of a wide section of the academic community to develop new materials technologies that will give improvements in the performance of gas turbines, as well as performing the fundamental science required to ensure that they are safely used to the limits of their capabilities. This research is being performed under the guidance and support of the industrial partners who will ultimately use these materials technologies, thereby providing intrinsic pathways to commercial exploitation. The realisation of such technologies will help maintain the commercial competitiveness of the UK gas turbine industry, helping secure a very significant number of jobs within UK manufacturing, as well as the possibility of further job creation. New materials technologies are being developed for four key components in gas turbines where engine manufacturers have identified the need for improved materials to deliver increased efficiency. These are the: high temperature turbine blades & stators; the high temperature disc rotors; the steel shafts, gears & bearings; and, the low pressure turbine blades. Alloys developed in the first tranche of the Strategic Partnership are now being commercially assessed for their potential to fulfil the requirements of high temperature disc rotors. New alloy formulations have been devised for engine components requiring high strength at elevated temperature and amenability to processing by additive layer manufacturing. The development of small-scale test techniques has, more recently, been used to study deformation in cubic boron nitride, bringing Element 6 and Rolls-Royce together. There has also been work studying the deformation of hard coatings in collaboration with the Singapore Institute for Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech). This has led to coatings being made, where recent work has shown that plastic flow requires dislocations to be nucleated within each 10 nm grain, giving rise to great improvements in wear resistance.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Chair of the STFC Physical Sciences and Engineering Advisory Panel
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Deputy Chair of the STFC Advisory Panel: Physical Sciences and Engineering
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description ESRF Review Panel
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Member of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Science Review Committee
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Reviewer for Diamond Peer Review Panel
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Title Data for "The effect of phase chemistry on the extent of strengthening mechanisms in model Ni-Cr-Al-Ti-Mo based superalloys" 
Description * Composition data of the gamma and gamma prime phases obtained using STEM-EDX. * Proximity histogram composition data across a gamma-gamma prime interface obtained using 3DAPT. * Bulk alloy compositions obtained using SEM-EDX. * Load vs extension data obtained during compression testing of the alloys. * Neutron diffraction patterns in the form of intensity vs 2theta data for each of the alloys. * Particle sizes for the gamma prime precipitates obtained from image analysis of the micrographs obtained by electron microscopy. These data are unsorted. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data for Phase equilibria in the Fe-Mo-Ti ternary system at 900°C and 750°C 
Description Research data for "Phase equilibria in the Fe-Mo-Ti ternary system at 900°C and 750°C" published in MMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data for The Effect of Ni:Co Ratio on the Elemental Phase Partitioning in ?-?' Ni-Co-Al-Ti-Cr Alloys 
Description Research data used in the publication "The Effect of Ni:Co Ratio on the Elemental Phase Partitioning in ?-?' Ni-Co-Al-Ti-Cr Alloys" published in Acta Materialia 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data supporting "A SANS and APT study of precipitate evolution and strengthening in a maraging steel" 
Description Small angle neutron scattering (SANS)j and imaging atom probe field ion microscope data on a marageing steel destined for aerospace applications. The steel is strengthened with NiAl and Laves phase precipitates and is designed to be strong at both ambient and elevated temperatures, while maintaining a panoply of other properties such as machinability, fatigue resistance, toughness, creep strength and coatability. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data supporting Gamma Prime Precipitate Evolution During Aging of a Model Nickel Based Superalloy 
Description Excel spreadsheets containing the particle size distributions (PSDs), compositions of each phase, lattice parameters and proximity histograms of composition across the precipitate - matrix interfaces. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data supporting: "The Effect of Zirconium on the Omega Phase in Ti 24Nb-[0-8]Zr (at.%) Alloys" 
Description The files here correspond to the raw TEM, APT and XRD data that are presented in the figures of the manuscript. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data supporting: On the influence of Mn on the phase stability of the CrMnxFeCoNi High Entropy Alloys 
Description The underlying data connected with the research paper. The data for each figure is included in the .zip files and comprised the images from electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Description 3D APT of model superalloys 
Organisation University of Michigan
Department Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have been performing fundamental studies of model superalloys to aid the design of next generation alloys. As part of this work we prepared and analysed a series of alloys.
Collaborator Contribution The University of Michigan provided access to 3D atom probe tomography facilities for the study of our alloys.
Impact A paper has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal covering this work.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Atom probe tomography of alloys 
Organisation University of Michigan
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Alloys have been developed by our research group for this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution Atom probe tomography of the alloys developed to determine the nature and composition of the precipitates present.
Impact A scientific paper will be prepared on the results obtained.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Neutron diffraction of superalloys 
Organisation NRC Canada
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have been studying model nickel based superalloys to aid in the design of future alloys to enable new, more efficient gas turbine engines for civil aviation. As part of this work, we have prepared and investigated a series of alloys with varying composition.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of neutron beam time for the study of the crystal structure of the model superalloys.
Impact Journal paper: Christofidou, K.A., Jones, N.G., Pickering, E.J., Flacau, R., Hardy, M.C., Stone, H.J., The microstructure and hardness of Ni-Co-Al-Ti-Cr quinary alloys, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 2016, 688, pp.542-552, 10.1016/j.jallcom.2016.07.159
Start Year 2015
 
Description Studying short range order with the ISIS neutron source 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)
Department ISIS Neutron and Muon Source
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have worked closely with staff at the ISIS neutron facility to develop new methods for the study of short range order in metals and alloys.
Collaborator Contribution Scientific support, provision of beam time, access to experimental facilities, hosting a PhD student, funding to support the PhD student.
Impact Scientific journal papers: 1. Owen, L.R., Playford, H.Y., Stone, H.J., Tucker, M.G., Analysis of short-range order in Cu3Au using X-ray pair distribution functions, Acta Materialia, 2017, 125, pp.15-26, 10.1016/j.actamat.2016.11.048 2. Owen, L.R., Pickering, E.J., Playford, H.Y., Stone, H.J., Tucker, M.G., Jones, N.G., An assessment of the lattice strain in the CrMnFeCoNi high-entropy alloy, Acta Materialia, 2017, 122, pp.11-18, 10.1016/j.actamat.2016.09.032 3. Owen, L.R., Playford, H.Y., Stone, H.J., Tucker, M.G., A new approach to the analysis of short-range order in alloys using total scattering, Acta Materialia, 2016, 115, pp.155-166, 10.1016/j.actamat.2016.05.031
Start Year 2013
 
Title A cobalt-nickel alloy 
Description A new cobalt-nickel based superalloy for high temperature structural applications. 
IP Reference EP20150198180 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Now being further developed and assessed with an industrial partner.
 
Title A nickel alloy (V202) 
Description A new high performance nickel based superalloy for turbine disc applications in gas turbine engines. 
IP Reference EP3042973 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Alloy now under commercial assessment and production scale up with Rolls-Royce.
 
Title Ni-base alloy for structural applications 
Description The composition of a new nickel based superalloy for high temperature structural applications with superior strength and stability than existing alloys of a similar type. 
IP Reference EP3121298 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2017
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Now being further developed and assessed with an industrial partner.
 
Description "Design and Production of bcc Titanium-molybdenum-based Alloys Strengthened by Ordered Intermetallic Precipitates", presentation at the TMS2017 annual conference, San Diego 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description "Effect of Alloying on the Microstructure and Properties of Superalloys Containing Gamma Prime and Gamma Double Prime Precipitates", presentation at the TMS2017 annual conference, San Diego 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description "Elemental Partitioning Behaviour in Ni-Co-Al-Ti-Cr Alloys", presentation at the TMS2017 annual conference, San Diego 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description "Load Transfer between Phases during Deformation of Superalloys", presentation at the TMS2017 annual conference, San Diego 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description "Nickel-based Superalloys Reinforced by Gamma Prime and Gamma Double Prime Precipitates", presentation at the TMS2017 annual conference, San Diego 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description "Precipitation kinetics in high entropy alloy Al0.5CrFeCoNiCu", presentation at the TMS2016 annual conference, Nashville 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description "The Effect of Molybdenum on the Microstructure and Properties of Model Quinary Nickel-based Superalloys", presentation at the TMS2017 annual conference, San Diego 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description "The Microstructure and Hardness of Ni-Co-Al-Ti-Cr Quinary Alloys", presentation at the TMS2017 annual conference, San Diego 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description "The effect of composition upon the precipitation of the sigma phase in a model nickel-base superalloy", presentation at the TMS2016 annual conference, Nashville 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2016
 
Description "Thermally Induced Phase Transformations in Beta-titanium Alloys and Corresponding Effects on Mechanical Properties", presentation at the TMS2017 annual conference, San Diego 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Calphad and New-phacomp Assisted Design of Single Phase CrMnFeCoNi-type High Entropy Alloys 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk at TMS Annual meeting, Phoenix, USA, Mar 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Characterisation of the strain distributions produced during welding using in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk at Thermec 2018, Intl' Conf. on Processing & Manufacturing of Advanced Materials, Paris, France, Jul 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Exhibit at Cambridge Science festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibit and talks at the Cambridge Science Festival - an annual event run by the University of Cambridge to promote public engagement in science within Cambridge and local region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017,2018
URL https://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/
 
Description High Temperature Microstructural Evolution of Ni-Co-Al-Ti-Cr Alloys Studied by In-situ Neutron Diffraction, 2016 TMS Annual meeting and exhibition. , Nashville, USA, Feb 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Inside the Jet Engine 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Online article for public engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/inside-the-jet-engine/
 
Description Investigation of superalloy composition space using high throughput thin film synthesis and synchrotron X-ray diffraction, Superalloys 2016 conference, Seven Springs, USA, Sep 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Phase Stability in High Cobalt Containing Nickel Based Superalloys, IMS Microstructural Characterization of Aerospace Materials and Coatings, Long Beach, USA, May 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Phase Transformations in Titanium Alloys 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk at TMS Annual meeting, Phoenix, USA, Mar 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.tms.org/tms2018
 
Description Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A stand entitled "Engineering Atoms" was made and hosted by members of the research group funded under this scheme at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition in 2015. This event was attended by thousands of members of the public, media, policy makers and industrialists.

See the following URLs
http://www.eng-atoms.msm.cam.ac.uk
http://sse.royalsociety.org/2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://sse.royalsociety.org/2015
 
Description Separation of Static and Dynamic Displacements in CrMnFeCoNi 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk at TMS Annual meeting, Phoenix, USA, Mar 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.tms.org/tms2018
 
Description Synchrotron Studies of Superalloys 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture at the Diamond Light Source Summer School for postgraduate students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description The Role of Solid Solution Strengthening Additions and Thermal Exposure on the Behaviour of a Model Nickel-base Superalloy, IMS Microstructural Characterization of Aerospace Materials and Coatings, Long Beach, USA, May 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific conference presentation to communicate to other researchers / practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The effect of compositional modifications on the formation of the sigma phase in CrMnFeCoNi type High Entropy Alloys 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk at Thermec 2018, Intl' Conf. on Processing & Manufacturing of Advanced Materials, Paris, France, Jul 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018