CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Hydrogen Turbines

Advanced Filtration to Improve Single Crystal Casting Yield

Performer: Mikro Systems Inc.

Project No: SC0008266

Project Description

Mikro Systems, Inc. (Mikro) will apply their Tomo-Lithographic Molding (TOMO™) manufacturing platform to improve the single crystal (SX) investment casting process through the development of engineered ceramic filters for SX metal casting. Mikro will design an engineered filtration system comprising a primary central filter (located in the pour cup of the mold tree) and a series of secondary in-line filters that are placed before or within each shell within the mold tree. The primary and secondary filters will be designed to work together to effectively control the metal flow for specific airfoil geometries. The filter designs will utilize flow properties (rate and directionality) based on empirical data derived from existing casting production and theoretical data from casting simulation and flow testing. Filtration performance will be baselined using industry standards and optimized through Mikro's ability to form highly engineered surfaces and geometries from ceramics.

Casting filter designs remain very conventional, with no specific engineering consideration for SX castings. Low yields have been associated with a number of process-related defects, and foundry experts estimate that over $7 million per year in scrap castings are due to inclusions that could be prevented with advanced filtering.

Model tree schematic.

Project Details