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Next Generation Database for Greener and More Efficient Aerospace Vehicles

The next generation alloys for the aerospace industry need to be lighter to accommodate greener and more efficient aerospace vehicles. In order to develop these high-performance alloys, a deeper understanding of titanium aluminide (TiAl) systems is needed. This was the purpose of the ADVANCE Project, an ambitious experimental program consisting of four partners from three countries and spanning over almost 4 years, which just came to its successful conclusion. 


The project was founded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 820647, and was a part of the Clean Sky 2 initiative whose goals are to reduce the aircraft noise and CO2 and NOX emissions in an effort to make tomorrow’s aircraft greener and more efficient. 

The focus of the ADVANCE Project was to develop an accurate CALPHAD database that will aid the design of lightweight, high-temperature tolerant TiAl alloys used to make aero engine rotating blade parts. 

The sophisticated experiments performed during the project resulted in accurate thermodynamic descriptions for the titanium aluminide systems. These descriptions will be available in the next version of Thermo-Calc Software’s Titanium and TiAl-based Alloys database, TCTI5, scheduled for release in December 2022.

Sophisticated Experiments to Obtain Accurate Data

During the project, a series of experimental ternary Ti-Al-X (X = Nb, Mo, W, O, B, Zr, C, Si) and quaternary Ti-Al-Nb-Z (Z = Mo, W) alloys were produced from elements of the highest available purity. In total 84 different alloys and more than 360 samples were successfully produced and heat-treated to reach equilibrium at different temperatures. Following equilibrium heat-treatment, the samples were subject to metallographic inspection and phase analysis using a range of techniques.

The results allowed the project team to accurately determine equilibrium phases and composition, as well as phase transition temperatures, which are all important data needed to better understand the microstructure and chemistry of the chosen alloys.

Improvements to the Titanium and TiAl-based Alloys Database (TCTI)

The ADVANCE project resulted in important improvements to the Titanium and TiAl-based Alloys (TCTI) database. The results strengthened the modeling of the Ti-Al-X ternaries (X = Nb, Mo, W, Si, Zr, O, B, C) and the Ti-Al-Nb-Z quaternary systems (Z=Mo, W). The improved thermodynamic descriptions integrated into the TCTI database support the design of TiAl alloys with an increased degree of accuracy. Reliable phase equilibria in the studied alloys are also critical for Ti-based alloys since Al, Mo, Si, Zr, O, B, and C are common alloying elements for Ti-based alloys. 

During the development of the next version of our TCTI database, substantial efforts on validation against independent multicomponent data were made. Therefore, the new database is capable of providing more precise predictions with a high degree of confidence for Ti- and TiAl-based alloys.

The next version of the Titanium and TiAl-based Alloys database, TCTI5, will be released in December 2022. The database will be available for sale by Thermo-Calc Software and requires a full license for Thermo-Calc.

Contact our sales team for more information about the database and how to get access

Favors a More Environmental Friendly Aerospace Industry

More reliable CALPHAD databases not only favor alloy development, but also the aerospace industry. By replacing engine parts currently manufactured from Ni-base alloys with those made from TiAl alloys, a weight saving of 50% is achieved. The advanced CALPHAD database provides the means for a rapid computational design that can facilitate the optimization of new TiAl alloys and the respective processing conditions with a high degree of confidence, and thereby potentially shorten the time required for the introduction of new alloys by 50% or more.

The consortium for the ADVANCE project consisted of four partners from three countries: Thermo-Calc Software AB (TCSAB), Sweden (Coordinator); Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH (MPIE), Germany; Helmholtz-Zentrum hereon GmbH (Hereon), Germany; and Montanuniversität Leoben (MUL), Austria. In addition, MTU Aero Engines AG, Germany, was the Topic Manager.

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