Wear-resistant composites application in repair and modification technology of the gtd rotor blades

Metallurgy and Material Science

Material science


Klimov V. G.*, Nikitin V. I., Nikitin K. V., Zhatkin S. S., Kogteva A. V.

Samara State Technical University, SSTU, 244, Molodogvardeyskaya str., Samara, 443100, Russia

*e-mail: vadim3945@yandex.ru, v.klimov@uecrus.com


The of production and operation costs of gas turbine engines employed in aviation, oil and gas or energy industries constitutes a significant portion of costs reducing the net marginal profit of operator- enterprises. These costs reduction is a natural desire of any holding. Against this background, the ability to maintain the resource of the gas turbine engine at the lowest cost to itself remains the main criterion of the competitiveness of the producer in the market.

It should be kept in mind, that the operation costs of gas turbine engines through their lifetime cycle often exceed their original cost. To be precise, the effective repair technologies often stops the loss risks in future orders.

A distinctive feature of domestic aviation gas turbine building is a low assigned and overhaul period of the engines operated according to the first performance strategy.

Often the causes of understated life cycles are the imperfections of the structures that occur at the development stage. Consequently, the presence of the extremely expensive parts and units with a relatively short lifetime requires their permanent replacement or recovery. These parts are the rotor blades, and the turbine stator. Many factors can lead to their failure, starting from structure changing due to the uneven temperature fields, to the loss of geometry due to burn­out or mechanical damage. The last one is the factor, most frequently occurred in the products.

From the viewpoint of repairing technologies, the turbine blades recovery is the most cost-effective among all other engine parts. The cost of the engine hot section (turbine) producing exceeds the cost of a cold section (compressor) by average of 400-700%. However, the repair complexity remains the main obstacle in its implementation.

This article proposes to employ the high-temperature nickel powders of the VPR type as wear-resistant surfacing materials applied by laser action. The structure formation peculiarity of the described materials is revealed. It is manifested at high cooling rates in the form of natural composites formation with dispersion eutectic hardening along the boundary of the dendritic framework. This structure has a non­directional arrangement of strengthening phases that increases the wear-resistant characteristics of the resulting composite.

The original method of restorative surfacing is described. It allows repairing and modifying rotor blades of gas turbine engines (GTE), with increasing the wear-resistant characteristics of the part contact surfaces. Based on the conducted comparative studies, including analysis on a scanning electron microscope; measurement of micro-hardness and the coefficient of the materials linear expansion; testing of abrasion resistance of cladding and their fatigue strength, the possibility of VPR type materials application of as an alternative to classical wear-resistant composites with mechanical admixture of various carbides was proved. It is shown that under conditions of pulsed laser action at high cooling rates, the average hardness and overall resistance to abrasive wear of certain VPr alloys grow due to the formation of a finely dispersed stable eutectic structure close to the initial powder material. The positive performance characteristics of alloys of VPr 11-40N and VPr 27 grades were obtained, which allows employ them when rebuilding the GTE rotor blades.


Laser powder cladding, a rotor blade GTD, bath powder, micro hardness, microstructure, electron microscopy, local abrasion, natural composite carbide karboborid, structural heredity, fatigue tests


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