Potential of Directionally Solidified Eutectic Ceramics for High Temperature Applications


M. Parlier, R. Valle, L. Perrière, S. Lartigue-Korinek, L. Mazerolles

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Directionally solidified eutectic (DSE) ceramics add new potentialities to the advantages of sintered ceramics: a higher strength, almost constant, up to temperatures close to the melting point and a better creep resistance. The microstructure of melt-growth composites (MGC) of ceramic oxides consists in three-dimensional and continuous interconnected networks of single-crystal eutectic phases. After solidification of binary eutectics, the eutectic phases are alumina and either a perovskite or garnet phase. In ternary systems, cubic zirconia is added as a third phase. For very high temperature structural applications such as turbine blades in future aeronautical turbines or thermal power generation systems, the investigation is focused on both binary (Al2O3-Y3Al5O12 (YAG), Al2O3-Er3Al5O12 (EAG) and Al2O3-GdAlO3 (GAP)) and ternary (Al2O3-YAG-ZrO2, Al2O3-EAG-ZrO2 and Al2O3-GAP-ZrO2) eutectics. Improving the strength and toughness of DSE ceramics being essential for such practical applications, results concerning the mechanical behavior of these eutectics will be reported after a short presentation concerning microstructure and crystallography. This better knowledge of DSE ceramics has led to the development of a specific Bridgman furnace to produce large crystals and investigate possible applications of DSE ceramics to a new generation of very high temperature gas turbines, e.g. hollow non-cooled nozzles, turbine blades or combustor liner panels.