Engineered Process Materials for Casting of Aerospace Components

Period of Performance: 09/30/2015 - 09/30/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mikro Systems, Inc.
1180 Seminole Trail Array
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT:The centerpiece of the proposal is the use of an innovative manufacturing technology developed by Mikro Systems, Inc. (Mikro) called Tomo-Lithographic-Molding (TOMOSM). TOMO technology enables rapid and cost-effective production of next generation turbine components. It does so by leveraging the use of lithographic machining combined with traditional CNC tooling, a high-strength ceramic binder system, flexible conformal production tools, and a low-pressure ceramic casting process. The final products (cores and wax patterns) are produced using industry standard, foundry-ready materials and impose no disruption to the turbine supply chain. The technology also has the technical properties needed to produce an engineered integrated core and castings shell system. In Phase I, Mikro produced a number of test coupons and conducted casting trials to demonstrate the feasibility of using the TOMO process for design and production of an integrated core and shell system. In Phase II, Mikro will build upon the results from Phase I to optimize an engineered core and shell solution for an advanced airfoil, including coupon level and blade level casting trials.BENEFIT:Mikro?s innovative technologies will successfully integrate the casting core and shell into an engineered system which can optimize heat transfer and increase dimensional control of aerospace castings. This would enable an increase in design freedom for finer and more precise features that would dramatically improve airfoil designs (increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption). The resulting system would also eliminate costly and time intensive production steps from the investment casting process (production cost savings, energy savings and surge capability benefit).