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Effects of adding aluminum oxide or zirconium oxide fibers on ceramic molds for casting hollow turbine blades

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To satisfy the requirements of mechanical performances of integral Al2O3-matrix ceramic mould for fabricating hollow turbine blades, Al2O3 or ZrO2 fibres were added to the slurry in gelcasting. The microstructures of Al2O3-matrix ceramic mould were tested by scanning electron microscope and micron X-ray imaging system besides their bending strengths at different temperatures. The result showed that when Al2O3 fibre or ZrO2 fibre were added, the room-temperature bending strength of the ceramic mould was remarkably improved after pre-sintering at 1,250 °C. The medium-temperature bending strength was about between 0.5 and 2 MPa from 400 to 600 °C and reached the minimum at 500 °C. At 1,300 °C, the high-temperature bending strengths decreased gradually with an increase of Al2O3 fibre content and increased with an increase of ZrO2 fibre content. The specimens expanded first in pre-sintering and then shrunk in final sintering, respectively. According to the test results, we used ZrO2 as the additive with 10 wt% content, and the overall performances of Al2O3-matrix ceramic mould were the best. Finally, hollow turbine blades were successfully fabricated.

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Correspondence to D. C. Li.

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Lu, Z.L., Fan, Y.X., Miao, K. et al. Effects of adding aluminum oxide or zirconium oxide fibers on ceramic molds for casting hollow turbine blades. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 72, 873–880 (2014).

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