High Performance Computing (HPC)-Enabled Computational Study on the Feasibility of using Shape Memory Alloys for Gas Turbine Blade Actuation

Report No. ARL-TR-7872
Authors: Kathryn Esham; Luis Bravo; Anindya Ghoshal; Muthuvel Murugan; Michael Walock
Date/Pages: November 2016; 24 pages
Abstract: Creating an actuation system that can move turbine blades during flight of an aircraft requires very specific material properties. Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are an excellent option as they have a high energy density; however, they are currently lacking the high-temperature stability necessary for operation in extreme thermal conditions. To push SMAs to higher temperatures nanoprecipitates are formed, allowing the martensitic phase transformation to stabilize over many thermal cycles while increasing the transformation temperature range. How these precipitates work is not well understood, but harnessing their features aids the design of a new high-temperature SMA. This work used phase field analysis to show that the orientation of the precipitate is of special interest due to the effect on the microstructure. A precipitate oriented with the martensitic variants shows little potential for residual strain, which may lead to failure. If the precipitates are at a desired orientation, the phase transformation may be able to occur safely at much higher temperatures than previously thought.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2016