Testing samples for Rolls Royce
10 Nov 2017



Nickel based superalloys are a class of material designed for high-temperature applications, such as turbine blades for jet engines. During the manufacturing process single crystal turbine blades are subject to a series of heat treatments.


​​​​​​​​The Rolls Royce team used the Engin-X instrument through the ICRD scheme to study test samples. Image credit: dreamstime.​ ​


Scientists at Rolls Royce identified a mechanism they believed led to the formation of surface defects in the blades, potentially limiting their performance and leading to costly reworking of the blades.

The Rolls Royce team used the Engin-X instrument through the ICRD scheme  to study test samples produced in their precision casting facility and heat treated. They then subjected the samples to further in situ heat treatment on Engin-X using neutron diffraction to follow the phase transformation throughout this process. This enabled the team to conclusively prove this mechanism and allowed them to implement a new manufacturing process that prevented surface defects from occurring.

“The experiments on Engin-X provided the evidence we needed to support an existing patent. We've now been able to use this patent in the foundry, and also read the technique across to other turbine components, leading to significant cost savings."

Neil D'Souza, Rolls Royce.  

​Further information 

See here to learn more on our dedicated engineering instrument Engin-X

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