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Single Crystal Casting with Fluidized Carbon Bed Cooling: A Process Innovation for Quality Improvement and Cost Reduction

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Superalloy gas turbine blades are being produced by investment casting and directional solidification. A new process, Fluidized Carbon Bed Cooling (FCBC), has been developed and is now being optimized in a prototype casting unit with 10 kg pouring weight. In early test runs with still rather simple mold cluster geometries, a reduction of the primary dendrite arm spacing of around 40 pct compared to the standard radiation cooling process (HRS) could be demonstrated. The improvement is mainly attributed to higher temperature gradients driving solidification, made possible by a functioning Dynamic Baffle. Compared to earlier development efforts in the literature, contamination of the melt and damage to the equipment are avoided using carbon-based fluidized bed materials and the so-called “counter pressure concept.”

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The authors are grateful for financial support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the framework of the collaborative research center SFB/Transregio 103 project B1. Professor Jan Sieniawski, Dr. Dariusz Szeliga, Zenon Lipiński, and Grzegorz Jakubowicz from Rzeszów University of Technology (RZUT) in Poland are acknowledged for supplying ceramic molds.

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Correspondence to M. Hofmeister.

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Manuscript submitted July 12, 2017.

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Hofmeister, M., Franke, M.M., Koerner, C. et al. Single Crystal Casting with Fluidized Carbon Bed Cooling: A Process Innovation for Quality Improvement and Cost Reduction. Metall Mater Trans B 48, 3132–3142 (2017).

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