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Aero-Engine Component Failure Solutions

August 17, 2020

Aero engines are application-specific engines built to power an aircraft, however, given the strength and power of aero engines, they can sometimes also be used for other vehicles, in cases where a manufacturer’s design features high-performance specifications.

Common types of aero engines include turboprop, turbojet, turboshaft, ramjet and turbofan engines. These forms of gas-powered engines have increased significantly since the 1900s and it is these technological advances that allow aero engineers to develop high-performance aircraft.

However, recent advances in technology and materials have resulted in component specifications that must withstand more complex and hazardous product environments. Luckily, CWST’s material coating and treatment services can help aero-engine manufacturers to ensure the highest quality and material endurance through our broad range of material solutions.

What is component failure?

Component failure generally occurs due to a sequence of events which as a direct result of design and the chosen materials to the chosen manufacturing process and component assembly. Processes such as heat application, welding, grinding, and machining during the manufacturing stage can cause component failure. Other aspects of manufacturing that can affect material performance and result in aero-engine component failure can include processes like bending, rolling, or forging.

In-service conditions can also directly be attributed to component failure of a part such as volatile temperature change and environmental conditions, uneven high or low cyclic loads or stress profile, compression torsion and bending as well as foreign object damage.

Matching the maintenance needs of the component to a products operating conditions and environment is crucial and the right surface treatment can dramatically extend the life of these critical parts.

If you’re unsure which material treatment is best for your product, design or application, speak to us today to find out how we can help to reduce component failure.

Aero-Engine Failure modes

Although aero-engine failure modes are not limited to the below, some of the most common types of failure modes are:

  • Fretting
  • Galling
  • Fatigue
  • Contact fatigue
  • Fatigue
  • Corrosion
  • Stress corrosion cracking
  • Micro-cracking
  • Foreign object damage
  • Erosion
  • Water droplet erosion

Aero-engine parts such as blade roots, airfoils, tie wire holes, propeller blades and turbine discs, blisks, and drums are susceptible to these failure modes due to their extreme product operating conditions and environment.

Aero-engine material failure mitigation solutions

CWST provide a wide range of material solutions that help to mitigate the common aero-engine failure modes above, this includes:

  • Controlled shot peening
  • Laser peening
  • A.S.E Isotropic peening
  • Thermal spray coatings

Controlled Shot Peening

Known as a cold working process, the shot peening process is applied using spherical media know as shot. As each piece of media hits the surface of the material it creates a tiny indentation where the surface will attempt to yield but is restrained by the substrate material. This combination of forces causes the substrate material to compress creating a beneficial compressive residual stress which leaves the surface material resistant to crack initiation and propagation whilst also removing any tensile stresses as a result of manufacturing.

Find out more about controlled shot peening: “Could your components be improved by Shot Peening?”

Laser Peening

The process of laser peening can place exceptionally deep residual compressive stress into key areas of a product to retard crack initiation and growth enabling increased fatigue strength ratings. Laser peening is not a replacement process for controlled shot peening but has additional advantages that can influence which method is best for any given application.

C.A.S.E Isotropic Peening

The technique of C.A.S.E ™ isotropic superfinishing has been developed as a metal surface treatment that provides components with excellent bending and contact fatigue strength with resistance to high loading. C.A.S.E ™ (Chemically Assisted Surface Enhancement) is also sometimes referred to as isotropic finishing. Isotropic finishing is a material treatment solution where a product is first shot-peened followed by chemical surface treatment where any mental asperities are gently removed, retaining valleys for optimum oil retention.

Thermal Spray Coatings

Used commonly in the aerospace, automotive and power generation industries, thermal spray coatings produce a cost-effective and high-performance finish which protects metallic components for heat, wear and corrosion, fatigue, and oxidation. Thermal spray coatings can also be used to repair damaged and worn components too.

CWST offer customers a single-source solution and point of contact for all their controlled material surface treatment needs, supporting their requirements through our global network of over 70 facilities worldwide.

To find out more about CWST’s material solutions get in touch with a member of our team, or to find out more about Aero-Engine component failure visit our page about the component and manufactured material problems that CWST solve.

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