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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D505569/1
Title: EPSRC/Rolls-Royce Star Appointment in Casting Technology - Named candidate Dr N R Green
Principal Investigator: Bowen, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Green, Professor NR
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Rolls-Royce Plc (UK)
Department: Metallurgy and Materials
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Research Chairs (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 May 2005 Ends: 30 April 2010 Value (£): 653,533
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
1. Aero and Gas Turbine Engines (in close collaboration with Rolls-Royce plc)The materials used in the hot stages of turbine engines operate in environments in which the temperatures are close to those at which the alloys melt, and in certain circumstances above. This can only be achieved by passing cooling air through the blades in the turbines to cool the surfaces exposed to the combustion gases. Turbine blades used in jet engines are safety critical items and represent the zenith of high performance castings whereby a complete blade in a compressor is a complex shaped single crystal.To achieve advances in the field of casting aero and gas engine turbine blades in nickel base alloys, aluminides and potentially refractory metal intermetallic composites it is first necessary to establish a facility capable of the manufacture of full size or near full size components. This would then allow research into the effects of fundamental casting process parameters and material effects on defect formation and performance.Such a facility would be established and key to the investigation and mapping of process and material effects on blade performance including:Metal handling and casting techniques and their effect on quality and performance Characterisation and mapping of the casting properties of alloysEnhancing solidification rates for single crystal manufactureMaterial property and performance enhancement to increase engine efficiency Interactions between blade design and performance / qualityPrototyping techniques to allow manufacture of test materials and componentsEngineered interface development for resistance to wear and oxidation occurring at the blade surface 2. High Performance Light Alloy CastingThe ability to predict the relationship between a casting process, microstructure, casting defects and properties will be key to the competitive development and launch in the future of structural aluminium castings.Recent research has gone some way to making modelling of casting properties a reality, with improved mechanistic and statistical / probabilistic modelling of casting defects, particularly micro shrinkage porosity. However, this is only one element of a host of factors determining properties, several of which remain poorly understood or described, yet are critical to casting performance.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk