The Role of Surface Protection for High-Temperature Performance of TiAl Alloys

M. Schütze

In the temperature range where TiAl alloys are currently being used in jet engine and automotive industries, surface reaction with the operating environment is not yet a critical issue. Surface treatment may, however, be needed in order to provide improved abrasion resistance. Development routes currently aim at a further increase in operation temperatures in gas turbines up to 800°C and higher, and in automotive applications for turbocharger rotors, even up to 1050°C. In this case, oxidation rates may reach levels where significant metal consumption of the load-bearing cross-section can occur. Another possibly even more critical issue can be high-temperature-induced oxygen and nitrogen up-take into the metal subsurface zone with subsequent massive ambient temperature embrittlement. Solutions for these problems are based on a deliberate phase change of the metal subsurface zone by diffusion treatments and by using effects such as the halogen effect to change the oxidation mechanism at high temperatures. Other topics of relevance for the use of TiAl alloys in high-temperature applications can be high-temperature abrasion resistance, thermal barrier coatings on TiAl and surface quality in additive manufacturing, in all these cases-focusing on the role of the operation environment. This paper addresses the recent developments in these areas and the requirements for future work.

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